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State poorly implemented Common Core curriculum

I believe that students should be tested for their grasp of material and attaining certain benchmarks. Unfortunately, the rollout of the Common Core has been poor.

The curriculum has not been fully integrated into classroom instruction. Teachers have not had sufficient training in implementing this curriculum. Yet students are being tested on it. How is it fair to test students on material not presented to them? The recent third-grade ELA test contained a reading passage taken from a sixth-grade reading series!

The State Education Department has recognized the weakness of the implementation of the Common Core, not as a result of its own research and effort, but rather as a result of the outcry from administrators, teachers and parents. They have delayed the impact of the tests on students.

However, Commissioner John King Jr. and Gov. Andrew Cuomo insist that there be no delay in using test results for teacher evaluations. Full speed ahead on using an admittedly flawed program to evaluate teachers. Shouldn’t use of these test scores for evaluations be delayed until the flaws of the Common Core are fixed, until the curriculum is fully implemented with sufficient professional development, until the students know that there is real impact for them and not just their teachers, whom they may or may not like?

I am not even going to address the millions that Pearson is making by creating the tests, test correction materials and classroom support materials. King projected that 70 percent of students who took the tests last year would fail, and lo and behold it was 70 percent. This year, he is predicting 50 percent will fail. When you put a sixth-grade reading passage on a third-grade test, you’re not exactly going out on a limb to predict a high failure rate.

Shirley Weisenborn


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