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Common Core Forum in Merrick Draws Large Crowd

Parents and educators expresses their concerns on the Common Core curriculum.

Photo Credit: Danielle De Souza
Photo Credit: Danielle De Souza
A group of parents and educators joined together this week and expressed their concerns on the Common Core initiative. A community forum on the matter was held at the Merrick Road Park Golf Course Clubhouse on Monday. 

Educational speakers focused on how Common Core, high stakes testing, the Annual Testing Performance Review (APPR), and how the sharing of a student's personal data can affect a child's educational experience. 

Joseph Rella, superintendent of the Comseqogue School District, started his presentation by asking the audience a question.

"How are your children doing?" he asked.

"Not good," many parents answered. 

"What are you going to do about it," Rella said. "Our children are being hurt by this initiative and children are suffering from anxiety and self-abusive behaviors. Not one word is spoken about the devastating affects this has on our children." 

Carol Burris, principal of South Side High School in Rockville Centre, said that the standards of the testing were not determined by educators.

"This is what I am most concerned about," she said. "Insist that the school boards not use Common Core."

Arnold Dodge, chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration at LIU Post, agreed. 

"There is nothing wrong with standards, but the more we stress out our kids, the more we will get phony results," he said.

Jeanette Deutermann of Bellmore created the Facebook page Long Island Opt Info last year. 

She said that many parents have told her that the testing have caused children anxiety, stress, depression and lack of sleep. 

Deutermann told parents that they have a right to pull their children out of testing  because  the  Common Core curriculum is not benefiting students. She also said that a good amount of classroom time is spent preparing children for the testing.

"We have to start thinking about what we want in our classrooms and how we want our children to be taught," she said. "When a child is not enjoying what they learn, they will not become lifelong learners." 

Linda Wilk of Merrick agreed. She refused to allow her three children to take the testing last year. 

"They are trying to evaluate children like you would a product," she said. "They are trying to evaluate these kids in a way that they can't."

Kat Lichter of East Islip told parents to keep fighting for their children.

She said that her daughter was the only student in her school to refuse the testing last year, but five children already gave in their letters of refusal for the upcoming testing. 

"My child is so much happier because she knows she will not take the test this year," Lichner said. "She said, 'Mommy I was embarrassed when I did not take the test before, but now my friends are doing it." 

Lichter told parents not to give up. 

"Show them you won't back down," she said. 

What do you think of the Common Core curriculum? Has your child been affected by it? Tell us in the comments below.
John Dunn January 08, 2014 at 07:25 AM
Educational fads can be devastating. Agendas, not children are their primary focus. After Sputnik, "The New Math" ruined the cyphering abilities of a whole generation of students. "No Child Left Behind" left many children behind. Now, "Common Core" besets us based on the false mantra that "You can't control what you can't measure."
Evelyn January 08, 2014 at 09:11 AM
It has been a horrible experience compared to last year, doing homework takes longer, it's stressful for us both, the Go Math is ridiculous, and I feel they are only preparing them to take tests, will they really retain the stuff, if it's only to be good for test day?? Frustrating.. :(
Marielle January 08, 2014 at 12:28 PM
We are at a private school now, Lawrence Woodmere Academy where testing is not the mission! The students are placed in classes based on abilities so that an honors geometry class may have 8th and 10th graders. The teachers are available all day for help, and not 15 minutes after school, 3 days a week with 10 students to tutor!
Disgusted January 08, 2014 at 04:00 PM
Parents need to educate themselves on what really in going on in public education!! Our kids are suffering , teachers are suffering and Pearson is getting richer!! Spread the word! Opt-out!!!
Lisa January 09, 2014 at 08:27 AM
Children suffering (as unfortunate as it is) brings to light the worse components of this program. student data mining & government propaganda This awful program must be stopped for the immediate benefits and future ones.
Merrick Slater January 09, 2014 at 02:56 PM
After having heard so much about the evils of Common Core, I attended this forum with the intention of attempting to separate the Hype from the Facts. Usually if there's such strong opposition to something that is supposed to be good- well, a lot of the opposition is often a bunch of hooey. This was NOT the case here. I found the speakers to be educated, well prepared for their respective topics, and highly "charged up" on what the CC's eventual effects will be. I've found myself agreeing that the CC, high stakes testing, and the disclosure of our children's information MUST BE STOPPED, at all costs. We cannot afford to sacrifice a generation of kids on this science experiment.

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