Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 19 of 39

20 Hudson Valley Parent n January 2016 status of that mammoth airplane in the sky? How Common Core came to Be What we know today as the Com- mon Core State Standards originat- ed in 2009, when state education leaders and politicians adopted new standards for proficiency in grades K-12 in English language arts/litera- cy and mathematics. The standards would be evalu- ated through annual tests - starting in third grade, with preparation beginning in kindergarten - which would partly determine teacher per- formance. Plus, data collected from these exams would be used to track student performance through the public school system. States were given the option to adopt the standards, with federal "Race to the Top" money promised to those who joined in. Moreover, grant money from a number of foundations - including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - further incentivized states to adopt. New York was the first large state to move to Common Core by adopt- ing a new teacher evaluation system in 2010, receiving a $700 million By TIMOTHY MALCOLM M ention the words "common" and "core" in succession to a parent or educator, and it's possible to hear the same com- parison: "It's like building an airplane in the air." When the New York State Ed- ucation Department rolled out its version of Common Core State Stan- dards in 2013, it promised to lead the charge in establishing new K-12 standards. After discovering that a flawed system rolled out quickly with little educator input, parents responded with heavy criticism. Starting in 2012-13, they decided to opt their children out of core-aligned stan- dardized tests, with state numbers increasing tenfold in 2013-14, and then quadrupling in 2014-15. Now, with Govenor Cuomo criticizing the statewide Common Core rollout, the scrutiny has only increased. Opt-out numbers are expected to rise, too. But what really was the Common Core program? What does it mean to opt out? Is there change beyond the horizon? And what exactly is the "Race to the Top" grant that year. It started testing students on the standards in 2011, and began align- ing scores to teacher evaluations in 2013. As test preparation began, and as students returned home with lower scores and ample frustration, parents began to see problems with Common Core. They weren't too happy with the airplane-under-construction phi- losophy, since it was their children sitting in coach. Two mom's share their experi- ences with the Common Core "I can't wait til' Common Core is gone so I can get 100s again," is how Stacey Kahn's son felt about it. The Port Ewen mom reports that before the introduction of the Common Core, he was a high-scoring math student. Kahn said she couldn't help her son at home because he had no materials to bring home and, in- stead, was working from the Engag- eNY online module. Without answer keys, and without seeing the child's work on the page, it created a challenge for Kahn. Not to mention the entirely new approach to math comprehension, which parents were having trouble Common Core. Opting Out. The new vocabulary terms parents are learning real quick

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP January 2016