The New American reports that things are heating up in New York state. Parents, teachers and lawmakers are coming together in defense of the children to end what NY State Assemblyman Al Graf refers to as “state-sponsored child abuse.” To what does Mr. Graf refer? None other than the Common Core standards.
While most Ohio schools are experiencing the first of the Common Core curriculum changes this year, New York students have already had a full school year with the standards and took the new Common Core aligned state achievement tests in April 2013.
The results were disastrous. Proficiency rates dropped 30-35% and children who once enjoyed school, do not want to go anymore. The Washington Post links to a letter written by eight New York school principals which outlines their concerns over the new state achievement tests – 16 concerns in all. Concern #4 will raise a few eyebrows:
“4) Children Have Reacted Viscerally to the Tests: We know that many children cried during or after testing, and others vomited or lost control of their bowels or bladders. Others simply gave up. One teacher reported that a student kept banging his head on the desk, and wrote, ‘This is too hard,’ and ‘I can’t do this,’ throughout his test booklet.”
It’s no surprise, then, that parents and teachers are in an uproar over Common Core. The New York teachers union voted against the standards and for the removal of the state’s Education Commissioner. The New American quotes Assemblyman Graf who explains what Common Core is doing to the teaching profession.
“If you wanted to destroy public education, this is what you would do. Teaching is a skill. Teaching is an art form. What they are doing here is turning teachers into hall monitors.”
Even elected Democrats in the New York are starting to speak out against Common Core and some are calling for a delay in the private student data sharing that is integral to the implementation of the standards.
A Common Core repeal bill was introduced in the New York State Assembly last summer, and after a series of 11 public forums held throughout the state, lawmakers are getting ready to introduce another bill which would postpone the standards for three years while a committee of stakeholders studies the issue and develops a solution.
It’s good to see representative government in New York responding to the concerns of its citizens, and it leaves Ohioans asking, what is our state government doing?
A strong and growing anti-Common Core movement exists in Ohio and activists have made their presence known at State Board of Education meetings, Education Committee hearings of the General Assembly, and in the offices of their State Rep and State Senator. It’s time Ohio’s elected leaders take the concerns of Common Core opponents seriously, especially after witnessing the education meltdown in New York.
Ohio has the opportunity to learn from New York’s experience and OLC members can help. Please ensure your State Rep and State Senator know that Common Core has been a megaflop in New York state. Forward the New American and Washington Post articles to them. And if they need more evidence, tell them to pick up the phone and call New York Assemblyman Al Graf and hear first hand the problems Common Core has caused.
While you’re at it, call the members of the House Education Committee as well. Tell them to schedule more hearings on HB 237, Ohio’s Common Core repeal bill. Ask them to arrange for public testimony from expert’s who have studied Common Core.
By acting proactively, Ohio elected leaders have the chance to stop Common Core before it rises to the level of “state-sponsored child abuse.”
Read New American article here: “New York Revolts Against Common Core”
Read the Washington Post article here: “NY school principals write letter of concern about Common Core tests”
Ohio House Member Directory: http://www.ohiohouse.gov/members/member-by-county
Ohio House Education Committee:
Gerald Stebelton (R) Chair: 614-466-8100
Andrew Brenner (R) Vice Chair: 614-644-6711
Teresa Fedor (D) Ranking Minority Member: 614-644-6017
Nickie Antonia (D): 614-466-5921
John Becker (R): 614-466-8134
Heather Bishoff (D): 614-644-6002
Timothy Derickson (R): 614-644-5094
Denise Driehaus (D): 614-466-5786
Bill Hayes (R): 614-466-2500
Michael Henne (R): 614-644-8051
Matt Huffman (R): 614-466-9624
Stephanie Kunze (R): 614-466-8012
John Patterson (D): 614-466-1405
Debbie Phillips (D): 614-466-2158
Kristina Roegner (R): 614-466-1177
Marilyn Slaby (R): 614-644-5085
Ryan Smith (R): 614-466-1366
Fred Strahorn (R): 614-466-1607