Oceanside board calls for common core slowdown

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“The board wanted to take a very strong stand on what the rollout of the common core and its testing program are doing to our students,” said Sandy Schoell, the president of the Oceanside board of education. “Our dander is up, with comments like the one from Arne Duncan, the federal school commissioner, that the problem is not with the rollout, but with white suburban mothers who just want their kids to get good grades and get into Ivy League schools without working for it. And, with the local newspapers that support that view. This is all about fairness. There is merit in the new standards, but that got lost in a terrible rollout. That disturbed us because it should have been planned better and funded better, and all of the stakeholders should have had a say in how it was to be implemented.”

“The state lied to us,” she added. “They told us that we were 38th in the nation in education and that we had a pressing problem that needed to be addressed immediately and only the common core could do it. The way they are implementing the plan disrespects teachers, administrators and school boards.

They dealt us a lousy hand,” she concluded, but we are playing it as best as we can.”

Dr. Phyllis Harrington, the district’s superintendent said that she is “extremely pleased” that the board approved the resolution.

“We are asking our leaders to pause, reflect and evaluate the common core rollout — its aggressiveness and the speed with which it has been introduced — because that is at the heart of the conflict.”

The resolution also listed more than a dozen problems brought on by the testing program associated with common core, including student discomfort and fiscal problems.

The resolution comes on the heels of a special meeting to address the common core rollout on Nov. 4, at which many parents and educators stated their disagreement with the way the federal program is being adapted in New York State.

At recent meetings held throughout Nassau County, residents riled at New York State Education Commissioner John B. King and Chancellor Meryl Tisch for the way the program has impacted the local school districts.

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