To test or not to test? Local reaction to Common Core testing

CHENANGO COUNTY – On Tuesday, April 1 Common Core testing for grades 3 through 8 began in Chenango County, along with the rest of New York State. Common Core testing has been a hotly contested issue amongst politicians, school administrators, teachers and parents who have vying interests and beliefs about the best way to move forward with the education system.

According to the Common Core State Standards Initiative website, “For years, the academic progress of our nation’s students has been stagnant, and we have lost ground to our international peers. One root cause has been an uneven patchwork of academic standards that vary from state to state and do not agree on what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.”

A promotional video for Common Core states, “Each standard makes sure all students are learning what they need to know to get to graduation and beyond [on a national level].” Beyond evaluating the students, the results will also be factored into each teacher’s annual performance evaluation.

Yet, there are many people who are uncomfortable with these blanket standards. Kathleen Todd, an advocate and member of NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), is just one parent of many who are protesting Common Core by refusing the testing. She explained, “We are not confident in the standards and how the curriculum had to change. It was not a democratic process for creating a global curriculum.”

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