Common Core Meeting in Rochester
November 21, 2013
ROCHESTER, N.Y.- “Each child belongs to all of us” is the phrase the West Irondequoit superintendent Jeff Crane, used to describe the philosophy behind his forty years in the education field. Mr Crane asked the State lawmakers and public at the forum, to discuss Common Core in New York State, to think about the power in that phrase.
Superintendent Crane, was among many teachers, school administrators, and parents who came to the education forum at the University of Rochester, presented by the New York State assembly minority Wednesday night, to voice their concerns with the newly implemented Common Core program which has come under fire in many school districts.
The Forum was opened up with the announcement from Assemblyman Al Graf (R-Long Island) that he has introduced a bill in the NYS legislature calling for the elimination of Common Core and Race to the top from the New York State School systems. The announcement of his bill brought cheers to the room, confirming the growing anti-Common Core sentiment across the State. The forum allowed many School administrators, teachers, and parents to let their displeasure be known, clearly highlighting the single ideal that; all in attendance care deeply about the children, and that the quality of education, is paramount as we move into the future.
One math teacher spoke on the inability of the common Core program to do what proponents have claimed, said that the math requirement for Common Core is algebra II. However, the statistics show that of the students that enter into college only completing algebra II, only 39% of them will finish their degree. Professor emeritus, at Stanford University James Milgram, who was on the Common Core validation committee, refused to sign off the program, noting that the math standards are too low in relation to what other countries are doing.
A parent that spoke brought a shoe, and held it up asking the lawmakers, each if the shoe would fit them illustrating the fact that a one size fits all approach to education simply will not work. Another parent who came to speak started her comments by giving a “shout out” to Assemblyman Nojay for “finally seeing the light”, brought her 9 ½ year old son along, who is at the end of the autistic spectrum, noted that there is no individualized education plan in place to deal with students such as her son. Finishing her remarks she asked lawmakers if they were going to stand on the side of the establishment, or on the side with the soccer mom’s that will be sure to vote in the next elections?. After presenting her remarks, her son, in what was the most riveting moment of the forum, spoke saying “ when I was in second grade, everynight that I came home, I used to cry my eyes out before doing my homework”.
An administrator that spoke in last nights’ forum noted that with the rigid constraints placed by Common Core on the teachers, he feels that Common Core will actually chase many prospective teachers away from the field, in a time when there is a clear need for quality teachers entering the profession. Many other teachers voiced their concerns that Common Core is handcuffing them in the classrooms, taking away their unique talents in teaching, and forcing them to teach in a one size fits all manner, which given the vast diversity in a classroom, simply will not work. While other speakers in the forum openly called for the resignation of NYS Education commissioner John King as a result of the poor implementation and rushed plan of bringing Common Core to New York State. The Common Core standards, and their proponents have ignored child development experts, who have said that the program is inappropriate and damaging to young students, while leaving no room for the “uncommon” student to flourish under the Common Core program forced upon New York State Schools.
Assemblyman Al Graf spoke to WLEA reporter Bill Murphy after the forum, saying that “Common Core is abusive to the students, noting that “this is not a political issue, it is about our children”. Graf added that “anybody that tries to make this a political issue should be driven out of office on a rail”. Mr Graf also said that he would gladly support any bill that was introduced on the floor that would stop Common Core, adding that every single assemblyman and State senator should step up and say “ this has got to stop”. Assemblyman Graf has a website that is dedicated to the issue of Common Core in NYS, located at; http://www.fixnyschools.com people are urged by the assemblyman to go there and sign the electronic petition that is there.