Superintendent unveils Common Core guidelines, draft on BOE focus areas

NORWICH – Norwich City School District Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan unveiled New York’s latest plan to address changing educational standards across the state – the Common Core State Standards Initiative – at Monday night’s regular meeting of the NCSD Board of Education.

The primary focus of the initiative is college preparation, reported the superintendent, as anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of high school graduates currently attending college for the first time are signing up for remedial classes.

According to the superintendent, the classroom environment statewide “is absolutely going to change” over the next two to three years. It’s possible, he added, that the state will see a major reduction in the number of school districts it supports, with upwards of 260 districts closing statewide. The state, he said, is actively seeking to reduce the number of school districts at this time.

“Everyone is facing dwindling resources at the state level, and we’ll feel those results at the local level. We’ll be facing some awesome challenges over the next couple of years,” stated O’Sullivan. As for the Common Core initiative, he added that “this is all brand new for a lot of people ... but we’ll be offering a greater depth of knowledge with smaller amounts of information.”

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