Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Letter to a Westchester Reporter About Common Core State Standards

Hi Collette

I am a professor at Fordham University who has spent a lot of time in 
Bronx schools helping their teachers and students do community history 
projects. I am against the Common CORE State Standards because they are being 
used by education officials , here as in other states,to increase the 
number of tests in our public schools in every grade and every subject, 
making teachers fearful- because their job security is dependent on 
test results- and students miserable. What you are doing is creating 
an epidemic of fearful, joyless instruction in our public schools. This 
does not train people for 21st century jobs in a dynamic world economy. 
It beats down a generation of children so they will not be disappointed 
by the low wage jobs that await them

If these standards are so wonderful, why is NO TOP PRIVATE SCHOOL IN 
THE STATE adopting them? These schools give teachers and students 
freedom to explore, to play, to immerse themselves in the arts, to take 
trips, to do science experiments, to let their imaginations soar. What 
Common CORE does is force public school students, in the name of 
mastery and proficiency, to sit at their desks all day studying for 
tests. It institutionalizes a two tier education system in our state, 
and in our nation.

What we need in this country is to listen to teachers, students and 
parents about what they think will make schools better. I am sure they 
would call for less tests, more arts, more physical activity, and more 
hands on activities that make children want to go to school and 
teachers build careers in our public school system. Right now, we are 
making schools a hell for students and a revolving door for teachers. 
This was already happening before Common Core. Common Core will make 
the testing mania that much worse


Mark Naison

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