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Friday, October 31, 2014
The $700 million come-a-long
(Page 2 of 2)

Board members say that academic intervention services are among the most expensive they provide and that they fear that the increased mandate might well bankrupt them or force them to cut “extras” such as clubs, music program and athletic teams.

The association is looking for the state to give school districts the option of providing remediation to only the lowest-achieving students, those in level 1.

The organization’s executive director, Timothy Kremer, said that might be problematic.

“School boards will have trouble telling parents that their children, who might not have scored the lowest, but still need extra support, cannot get that extra help,” Kremer said.

Parents are already becoming angry at the state’s testing program. While most support the Common Core in theory, they are opposed to the way it has been handled up to this point.

Lots of parents opted out of the testing program the last time out, most notably in Rockville Centre.

Just last month, 1,500 parents rallied in Port Jefferson Station to criticize the state’s handling of the Common Core launch.

Comesewoque Superintendent Joseph Rella addressed the parents.

“All of us are passengers on a plane that is being built while it is in midair,” Rella said. “Today, we are cancelling our flight reservation.”

He called on political leaders and elected officials to call on the federal officials to modify the program or to put it on hold until students are ready to be tested.

That’s a good idea. The tests require a wholly different set of skills than previous tests. For the last ten years, teachers have been teaching to the old test and the draconian pre-test schedules have drilled the skills and understandings that were necessary for those tests.

It will take months, if not years, for the new skills and understandings to become commonplace. Until then, it is self-defeating to keep giving a test when you know that 60 to 70 percent of the students will fail.

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