NORFOLK - Norwood-Norfolk Board of Education President Jon D. Hazen says, given the widespread concern over the new Common Core curriculum in schools, hes surprised there wasnt more reaction from those who attended a recent meeting with state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. in Watertown.
Mr. Hazen attended the meeting with fellow board member Jonathan Hunkins and Superintendent James M. Cruikshank.
Im surprised people didnt go after him a little more than they did, he said during Tuesdays board of education meeting.
They did in other locations where Mr. King was speaking, according to Mr. Hazen. He said that included Poughkeepsie, where a crowd turned rowdy during an Oct. 10 PTA-sponsored forum, leading Mr. King to cancel four scheduled community forums with the public to discuss the Common Core academic standards.
Critics have said the state was too quick to align standardized tests to the standards, resulting in a low passing rate.
Despite the uproar over the new standards, however, Mr. Hazen said one of the things he took away from the meeting was despite the complaints, despite the questions, despite the concerns about the APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) and Common Core, theyre here.
His recommendation was that we just roll with it and do what we can with it. This is the way its going to be, Mr. Hazen said. Its always interesting to hear things straight from the source. He didnt try to tiptoe around anything.
The commissioners message was very strong: stay the course, Mr. Cruikshank added, noting that Mr. King had acknowledged this will be a challenge.
But, Mr. Hunkins said, New York wasnt alone in having concerns about the new curriculum. He said Mr. King made a point to tell the audience that its not just New York, its 45 states.
Four states Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia have not adopted the standards and Minnesota has adopted them for English only.
Locally, board of education members, parents and teachers at Potsdam Central School have been sharing their concerns about the Common Core, leading to talk of scheduling local forums. Those have yet to be scheduled.
Among the concerns are that the scripted lessons used by teachers allow little leeway for creativity in lesson plans and that not all modules which teachers will be using are available.
Concerns have also been raised about the age appropriateness of some of the material in the Common Core curriculum.