On Jan. 16, the Rockville Centre School District, in conjunction with the PTA Council, hosted a forum to address some of the most pressing questions that parents had about the Common Core, state testing and the district’s position.
At least 200 residents came to the forum at South Side Middle School to ask questions of a panel of local experts — superintendents, administrators and teachers — who have all been working with the Common Core curriculum since its inception.
‘This night is to give you more information to empower you to be able to do an even better job than you already do with your involvement with your child,” said PTA Council Co-President Karen Parker. “Our dialogue in Rockville Centre began with testing, and what some of us thought was over-testing. That dialogue has developed into more serious questions about Common Core itself, how it’s being implemented, how it affects us here in Rockville Center, and the implications it has on the future of education in this town.”
Superintendent Dr. William Johnson led the discussion, answering many of the questions that parents and community members asked. Many of the questions brushed topics that had been addressed at Board of Education meetings over the past 12 months, but the meeting condensed all the information for parents.
Many parents voiced their concerns about the new curriculum and how difficult it was for their children, as well as the difficulty of the new state tests.
“I can tell you that there is a sentiment [on the state Board of Regents] that they believe that those of you who are experiencing this difficulty and voice that concern are a bunch of crackpots,” Johnson said. “And not more than the fringe. And that if you really delved down into what the Common Core is providing, you would begin to understand that the people who are voicing these concerns don’t know what they’re talking about. We don’t believe that for one second.”