North Merrick superintendent comments on the Common Core

(Page 2 of 3)

“What I have witnessed during the past two years has greatly alarmed me … I have never seen the levels of stress that I have witnessed. This stress can be seen in principals, teachers, parents and, most alarmingly, our children. This greatly troubles me because much of this stress could have been avoided.

With little to no lead-time, and with resources that were incomplete or unavailable, districts were required to fully rollout and implement the Common Core last year. To make matters worse, our children were expected to sit for Common Core-based examinations that they were not fully prepared to take. Keep in mind that these children did not have the benefit of Common Core instruction in prior years … If I could draw an analogy, we were told the best way to enable our children to swim was to throw them all into the pool at the same time … Unfortunately, when you use this approach … you experience casualties. In [North Merrick’s] case, our social workers reported higher levels of children who were stressed.”

“… Even our most advanced students found it difficult, or I should say impossible, to complete some of the sections.”

“How, in good conscience, do you give exams to students knowing they will not do well! In my mind this is unconscionable … If you give a test that 70 percent of students fail, as a teacher, your first question has to be, ‘What was wrong with the test?’ Compounding the problem has been a growing number of parents who felt that their only alternative was to opt-out their children from the tests. The existence of the movement alone should be a clear signal that this initiative was not thoughtfully rolled out.”

Page 2 / 3