Educators: Common Core Standards are Good for Students, Teachers

Is Common Core good for student achievement or does it need to be redesigned from scratch? To answer that question, the first meeting of the governor's Common Core Task Force is meeting in New York City Friday. As Time Warner Cable News reporter Katie Gibas shares, you might be surprised by what local school leaders have to say about the Common Core.

It seems school children have gotten overlooked in the highly-politicized discussion about Common Core.

"It actually helped transform learning in our school district, particularly Kindergarten through eighth," said Randolph Central School Superintendent Kimberly Moritz.

"It challenged them to be better and it gave them a set of standards where they didn't have standards. We should all have the same standards. An A should mean an A no matter where you're coming from," said Sam Radford, president of the District Parent Coordinating Council of Buffalo.

Radford also said the Western New York representative for the Governor's Common Core Task Force, which will meet for the first time Friday in New York City. Radford met with suburban educators Tuesday to discuss their thoughts on the Common Core.

"You don't have to reboot the standards. That would be one of the worst outcomes you could have is to think you're gong to rewrite the standards. Nobody supports that. Nobody in education supports that," said Robert Bennett, a former member of the Board of Regents.

"We need to be clear about the fact that these are good standards. These standards challenge our students to be better. These standards are what our students are going to need to compete globally, and so we want to keep the conversation initially about the standards. We need to have the conversation about APPR and testing that's a separate conversation somewhere down the road," said Radford.

The changes people do support are revamping the testing and teacher evaluation process.

"Our school district has had the sharpest three-year gain on the three through eight assessments of any district in Western New York. However, with the new APPR regulations that have come from the governor's office, most of my teachers will be listed next year with 50 percent being based on their gross score, most of them will be ineffective or developing, probably developing. There's something wrong there. That doesn't make sense," said Moritz.

Radford is also meeting with leaders of Buffalo Public Schools to discuss their unique challenges with implementing the Common Core in an urban setting.

The Governor's Task Force will complete its review and deliver its final recommendations by the end of this year.

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