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The Truth about the Common Core

In recent discussions about New York education, Common Core supporters and opponents have voiced multiple claims, some being inaccurate.

The Newsday editorial sheds light on numerous Common Core misperceptions including: the Common Core is a curriculum being forced on local school districts, the Common Core standards were rushed in New York, and the Common Core increased student testing.

The editorial clarifies the testing myth stating:

While some parents and educators have fumed about increased testing, much of that increase is due to many teacher unions refusing to accept student results on state tests as 40 percent of their evaluations. They've demanded that additional tests, determined at the district level, constitute half of that 40 percent -- and that those tests include fall pretests as well as year-end tests.

It may be a cynical ploy, but local educators ginning up anger against the state for overtesting are the ones who demanded that overtesting.

The editorial goes on to encourage New York residents to support the Common Core standards despite the problematic implementation:

The adoption of Common Core standards has been, in spots, disheartening and difficult. At times, it feels like we're halfway across a rickety bridge, headed for a destination where we very much need to go to keep up with other nations.

It's a shame that journey has been so tough. Steps to make the passage smoother should be taken. To excel, we must have tough standards, appropriate curricula and properly trained and evaluated teachers. Turning back or standing still makes no sense. And all the claims being bandied about don't change that.

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StudentsFirstNY Weekly Education News Roundup: December 9-13

In this week's education news: Common Core supporters welcome NY State Education Commissioner John King, parents worry about the future of charter schools, and misconceptions about the Common Core are clarified.

StudentsFirstNY Vocalizes Support for Common Core at Brooklyn Hearing
PIX 11 // December 10, 2013

Tenicka Boyd, the director of organizing at StudentsFirstNY, voiced her support for the Common Core because every student, regardless of their background, will receive the same education.

Supporters Welcome the Common Core in Brooklyn
GothamSchools // December 11, 2013

Common Core supporters including StudentsFirstNY, Families for Excellent Schools and Educators 4 Excellence greeted New York State Education Commissioner John King at public forums in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Common Core Supporters Express Their Need for Change
WNYC // December 10, 2013

On Tuesday evening, Common Core supporters attended a forum in Brooklyn, welcoming New York State Education Commissioner John King.

Opinion: NY Parents Worry if Bill de Blasio Will Destroy Charter Schools
Wall Street Journal // December 11, 2013

New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio criticized charter schools during his campaign. Parents of 70,000 charter students are concerned about the future of charter schools.

Opinion: Common Core Will Help Teachers
New York Post // December 12, 2013

The implementation of the Common Core standards has sparked several debates across the country. Co-founder of Educators for Excellence and former Bronx elementary school teacher Evan Stone discusses how teachers can benefit from the new standards.

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Bronx Teacher Proves Why Students Need High Standards

Bronx high school teacher Eloise Thompson has been presented with the prestigious Sloan Award for her incredible work of motivating students and revamping the school’s math program. Her tough standards demonstrate how students can achieve high results when pushed to reach high expectations.

The NY1 News article states:

"I have students come to me sometimes and say, 'I want you to change my program. I don't want to have Ms. Thompson. She's too hard,'" said Richard Fleiss, assistant principal of math, arts and music at DeWitt Clinton High School.

But looking back, most of us realize many teachers like Thompson are hard because they care, and their students get results.

"A student from Ms. Thompson's class in the year I took her class got a 98 on the test," said senior Deandre Eccles. "And usually, other students, even though they like their teachers, they pass the Regents and they just pass, but students who take Ms Thompson's class, they pass and they do well."

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StudentsFirstNY Weekly Education News Roundup: December 9-13

In this week's education news: Common Core supporters welcome NY State Education Commissioner John King, parents worry about the future of charter schools, and misconceptions about the Common Core are clarified.

StudentsFirstNY Vocalizes Support for Common Core at Brooklyn Hearing
PIX 11 // December 10, 2013

Tenicka Boyd, the director of organizing at StudentsFirstNY, voiced her support for the Common Core because every student, regardless of their background, will receive the same education.

Supporters Welcome the Common Core in Brooklyn
GothamSchools // December 11, 2013

Common Core supporters including StudentsFirstNY, Families for Excellent Schools and Educators 4 Excellence greeted New York State Education Commissioner John King at public forums in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Common Core Supporters Express Their Need for Change
WNYC // December 10, 2013

On Tuesday evening, Common Core supporters attended a forum in Brooklyn, welcoming New York State Education Commissioner John King.

Opinion: NY Parents Worry if Bill de Blasio Will Destroy Charter Schools
Wall Street Journal // December 11, 2013

New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio criticized charter schools during his campaign. Parents of 70,000 charter students are concerned about the future of charter schools.

Opinion: Common Core Will Help Teachers
New York Post // December 12, 2013

The implementation of the Common Core standards has sparked several debates across the country. Co-founder of Educators for Excellence and former Bronx elementary school teacher Evan Stone discusses how teachers can benefit from the new standards.

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Bill de Blasio Must Close the Education Equality Gap

The implementation of the new Common Core standards has showcased the evident equality gap in New York City. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio must narrow this gap while improving education for all NYC residents.

New York State Education Commissioner John King has been touring the state to discuss the Common Core standards with teachers, parents, students, and education advocates. In his recent visit to Brooklyn, representatives of the education advocacy organization StudentsFirstNY shared concerns.

In New York Magazine, parent and supporter of StudentsFirstNY Ayana Bowen expresses her concern about the equality gap in NYC:

“It sickens me that people are against Common Core,” she says. Then her composure crumbles. Her eyes brim with tears. “Just because we reside in a lower-income community doesn’t mean my child should have lower potential. People in better-off communities like Park Slope or the Upper East Side want to lower standards for my child.” When she finishes, there is scattered applause, but mostly humbled silence.

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Opinion: Common Core Will Help Teachers

The implementation of the Common Core standards has sparked several debates across the country. Co-founder of Educators for Excellence and former Bronx elementary school teacher Evan Stone discusses how teachers can benefit from the new standards.

In an opinion piece for the New York Post, Stone clarifies common misconceptions about the Common Core such as the notion that it increases student testing:

The Common Core is not a prescription for more testing nor does it raise the stakes of testing. Yes, students are experiencing more assessments this year — but that’s the result of a new teacher-evaluation system that aims to track the progress educators are making with their students. Many teachers are eager to discuss the role of evaluations in supporting their work, and the appropriate uses of assessments, but those are entirely separate debates. They shouldn’t be confused with the Common Core.

Stone also encourages readers to embrace the Common Core as the next step in improving American education:

But schools in New York and across the country are at a crossroads. We can retreat in the face of this challenge and start over from scratch . . . or we can work together to implement effectively what most agree are a pretty good set of standards.

Will it be messy, bumpy and noisy for a little while? You bet. But our students are worth the ride.

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Opinion: NY Parents Worry if Bill de Blasio Will Destroy Charter Schools

New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio criticized charter schools during his campaign. Parents of 70,000 charter students are concerned about the future of charter schools.

In an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger discusses the future state of New York education, specifically charter schools:

The assault on charters (and school vouchers or tax credits for Catholic schools) is not about the kids' education. It's wholly about public-union arithmetic: More members means more union dues means more political power. New York teachers union chief Michael Mulgrew wants those 5,000 charter teachers sending dues to him.

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Supporters Welcome the Common Core in Brooklyn

Common Core supporters including StudentsFirstNY, Families for Excellent Schools and Educators 4 Excellence greeted New York State Education Commissioner John King at public forums in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

Parents, teachers, and advocates used the forums as an opportunity to vocalize arguments they feel have been left out in previous discussions regarding the Common Core.

According to GothamSchools, many supporters classified the Common Core as a civil rights issue, stating that schools should be held to the same standards regardless of socioeconomic status:

“I think it’s a cruel injustice to expect less from our minority students than we do of their more affluent peers,” said one teacher.

A press release passed out by StudentsFirstNY before the forum used some of the same language, calling the Common Core a “lifeline” and a “critical civil rights issue” for “communities with failing schools.”

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Common Core Supporters Express Their Need for Change

On Tuesday evening, Common Core supporters attended a forum in Brooklyn, welcoming New York State Education Commissioner John King.

According to WYNC, several supporters including parents, teachers, and advocates praised the Common Core at the forum, addressing the importance, benefits, and deployment of the initiative:

Dozens of parents, organized by the advocacy group StudentsFirstNY, held signs in support of the learning standards and spoke of the Common Core's role in equalizing educational opportunities for students in poorer neighborhoods by raising expectations for its teachers and students.

"I'm here to dispel the myth that children in low-income neighborhoods cannot learn," said Darlene Boston, a parent of a child who recently graduated from high school. "Common Core is another way to bridge the gap of inequality that exists in New York City public schools."

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StudentsFirstNY Vocalizes Support for Common Core at Brooklyn Hearing

On Tuesday, State Education Commissioner John King held a Common Core hearing at Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

According to PIX 11, the hearing was well-attended, and parents, teachers and education organizations all came out to voice their support for or against the Common Core curriculum.

Tenicka Boyd, the director of organizing at StudentsFirstNY, voiced her support for the Common Core because it meant every student, regardless of their background, would receive the same education:

[Tenicka] Boyd of the organization [StudentsFirstNY] said the Common Core creates an equal learning environment across New York City.

“It’s important for our parents and communities like Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York and Brownsville to have the same set of standards that they have on the Upper West Side or even in Park Slope.”

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