Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2016

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22 Hudson Valley Parent n January 2016 people would go away," Shah says. But people didn't go away. Shah was among the parents who faced down then-state Education Com- missioner John B. King in October 2013 at a Spackenkill High School town hall about Common Core. King - now education secretary under President Obama - ended the con- tentious town hall early as parents challenged the standards and their rollout. This further strengthened opposition to Common Core, and as the 2013-14 standardized tests began, more than 50,000 students statewide opted out. Since criticism of Common Core has grown, parents have spread their concerns, primarily through social media. Some local education lead- ers, too, have spoken out against the Common Core rollout. "If one were writing a book on how to fail successfully, implement- ing this would've been a bestseller," says Enlarged City School District of Middletown Superintendent Ken- neth Eastwood. "Everything that was done was done the wrong way, with the wrong attitude and position. It was actually designed to fail. People know that now." Parents demonstrated that in 2014-15, as more than 200,000 students statewide opted out of the standardized Common Core tests. The cost of opting out How are local school districts re- sponding to the movement? In short, it depends. The state had previously threat- ened to sanction districts - through taking away state aid - where more than five percent of eligible stu- dents opted out of the tests. That hasn't happened, though in August, new state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said districts with high opt-out rates in 2015-16 may "COMMON CORE" (Continued from Page 21) We Have Moved • Brand new, state of the art facility • Digital X-rays • iPad station in the waiting room • TVs mounted on ceilings during dental work • Great kid friendly space • Always taking extra time to listen & work through fears (IV sedation or nitrous oxide used if needed)

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