SFNY Parents Speak Out In Support Of High Standards Ahead Of Common Core Task Force

Governor Cuomo's Common Core Task Force is convening today to hold a public hearing on New York State's learning standards, instructional guidance, and testing policies. Yesterday, however, some of our parents spoke at a forum, sponsored by High Achievement New York, about why they support Common Core. See why SFNY parents support high standards in their remarks below.


Mildred Martinez

My son is a third grader at P.S. 89. This February will be his first time taking tests aligned to the Common Core.

In the past, I had no way of really knowing if he was making the grade. 

Last year, he fell behind academically and the only way I found out was after I asked his teacher at a parent teacher conference. 

I don’t understand why they didn’t let me know he needed extra help. 

I was upset, and I am still not satisfied with teachers who were not committed to helping my son do better in school. 

The Common Core will make sure my son is on track. I’ll have a way to make sure he’s making the grade – and his teachers will be able to show me clearly what he needs to work on.

I am thankful that New York is leading the way on the Common Core, to make sure all kids have access to high standards.


Alverene Thomas

My child is in the sixth grade and I believe in high standards and that’s why I support the Common Core.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a school environment where my parents and teachers could track my progress. I want my child to have that same opportunity.

When you don’t have a way to measure student achievement, there’s no way to hold adults accountable. Children can get lost in the system. 

Parents need to have a way to make sure our children are succeeding in school. We don’t have to just accept what a school administrator wants us to believe. 

The Common Core also helps teachers identify the areas where students need extra help. Instead of falling behind, teachers and parents can work together to make sure children are learning.

I am sick and tired of hearing that every child doesn't deserve high standards. 

These higher standards aren’t always easy – but with the right support in school and at home, our kids can do it. 

The Common Core provides a guide for helping our kids get the education they deserve.


Damian Gaillard  

I have two daughters who have both taken tests aligned to the Common Core. 

My daughter Maisia is in the ninth grade at Pace High School and my daughter Tangier is in the fourth grade at P.S. 36.

The Common Core is a necessary component to getting my daughters a quality education.

My daughters took the tests and I can tell you – the tests are not easy. My girls had to work hard to do well. But now that they’ve been through it, and they made it through, I see the pride and satisfaction in their faces.

My daughters are getting a better education now because of the Common Core.

That’s what I want for all kids. I think every child in New York deserves to have that same sense of satisfaction and achievement. Every child in New York deserves those same high standards. 

The Common Core is a critical tool for teachers so they can ensure that every child is on the path to success, and it is critical for parents to hold the system accountable. 


Kathryn Marrow

I have a nine year old son who is in the fourth grade. 

I believe that all parents should be able to track their children’s progress – and that’s exactly what the Common Core does 

I believe in the Common Core and I can tell you – my son is opting IN.

I know that not every parent agrees. There are some parents who don’t want their kids to take the annual tests. I just don’t understand why they don’t want to know if their kids are learning what they need to learn. Burying your head in the sand may make you feel better, but it’s not going to help your child learn the skills he needs to be successful.

I want to know how my son is doing. I know that if he works hard, he can meet higher standards. 

We need to set high expectations for all kids, and then give them the support they need to realize their potential. 

At the heart of it, that’s what the Common Core represents. Setting a high bar, providing a way to reach the goal, and helping students achieve their full potential. 

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