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Some Westchester Parents, Educators Not Satisfied With Common Core Changes

The Common Core Learning Standards were adopted by New York State in 2010.
The Common Core Learning Standards were adopted by New York State in 2010. Photo Credit: Flickr

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Some parents, educators and state lawmakers say they aren’t satisfied with changes adopted Tuesday to the roll out of the Common Core Learning Standards.

Most notably, the state Board of Regents voted to delay the heightened graduation requirements associated with the Common Core by five years from 2017 to 2022. The passing grade on state exams will be higher starting with today’s fourth-grade students.

The board postponed a vote on adding protections for teachers relating to the new teacher evaluation system by allowing them to challenge a poor rating if their school district didn’t implement Common Core in a timely manner. The board had recommended them in its report released Monday.

Kendra Raffinton has two children at Post Road Elementary School in White Plains. She said the board’s report and vote Tuesday seem to be a “token effort” to “appease the parents.”

“What most parents would like them to do is re-evaluate the actual ‘standards’ and open their eyes to see that while no one is really against change or more rigor, or whatever you want to call it, these changes have to make sense.  And these do not,” she said.

Similarly, Eric Byrne, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the Chappaqua Central School District, said the changes all seemed minor and don’t impact the students.

The Board of Regents also voted to delay sending personalized student data to inBloom to be stored in an online digital dashboard. However, the board didn’t specify how long it would be delayed, Byrne sad. He added that it had already been delayed due to technical issues in January.

State Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-District 93) said Education Commissioner John King should explain why it took so long to recognize the problems addressed in these changes.

“I think the changes announced are a marginal improvement, but don’t really grapple with whether parents should have confidence in the common core’s roll out,” he said.

For example, the board will seek a federal waiver so special education students are tested at their ability level instead of their age level. But, Buchwald said this should have been done from the beginning.

Buchwald's district covers Bedford, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge and the City of White Plains.

Read more about the proposed changes on the state Education Department website .

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