Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

November 20, 2013

Lew-Port officials discuss Common Core

LEWISTON — There’s nothing more contentious in New York State education circles right now than the common core standards and how they’re being implemented.

It has administrators and teachers in a tizzy, parents up in arms and students crying and, worst of all, failing assessments they likely passed a few years ago. 

Lewiston-Porter is just one of many school districts which saw a dramatic dip in student performance in this past April’s assessments for mathematics and English Language Arts in grades 3-8. But Andrew Auer, principal of the district’s Intermediate Education Center, said the problem isn’t actually the common core.

He’s upset with the way it’s been rolled out to the state’s districts.

“It’s not the common core that’s the problem,” he said during a presentation about the controversial curriculum Tuesday. “It’s the timeframe we’ve been given to implement it. If they told us two years ago ‘You have two years to implement this,’ we would’ve been (fine).”

Auer said his major concern stems from the process by which the common core designers have been rolling out their standards. He said development of curriculum is still ongoing, as one of the “modules,” or educational maps, was actually released to everyone Monday. It was the same day parents across 16 states, including New York, organized a protest of the common core standards by keeping their children home from school for a day.

Especially in mathematics, he said, the state is giving everyone involved entirely too little time to prepare for something that, at the end of the day, will affect both a teacher’s evaluation under the new Annual Professional Performance Review mandated by the state and an administrator’s review. Both are tied to student performance on the state tests, which began assessing common core-level standards even though some grade levels don’t even have standards to teach to during the year.

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