Niagara Gazette

February 3, 2014

Common Core summit rescheduled for Feb. 13

Staff reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — An education forum organized by state Assembly Member John Ceretto and state Sen. George Maziarz will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 13 at Niagara Falls High School.

Parents, students and teachers will be able to provide input on the implementation of Common Core and what can be done to improve education overall in New York state.

“Solutions For Smarter Schools,” was set to take place last month at Niagara County Community College but was postponed due to inclement weather.

During this year’s state legislative session, Ceretto, R-Lewiston, said, “We have a chance to get Common Core’s mandates out of our classrooms and enact common sense reforms with wide support. (At the forum) we’ll be discussing these and other ways we can improve the quality of our students’ education.”

Featured speakers will include: Walter Polka, Niagara University professor and retired superintendent of the Lewiston-Porter School District; John McKenna, principal of Fletcher Elementary School in Tonawanda; and Ashli Skura-Dreher, a special education teacher in the Lew-Port district and New York State’s 2014 Teacher of the Year.

“The Solutions for Smarter Schools will emphasize important opportunities to keep the elements of the current reform that are workable, as well as suggestions to perhaps pause the implementation of some elements of the reform agenda that are having the most negative effects on learning in our schools,” Polka said.

The forum is endorsed by New York State United Teachers and the Niagara County United Teachers.

“(It) is a great great opportunity for parents, educators, administrators and other stakeholders in the community to voice their opposition to the state testing fiasco. It will also give our legislators an opportunity to hear the people of their district speak for the needs of their public schools,” NCUT President Kevin Rustowicz, a teacher at Niagara-Wheatfield High School, said.

Niagara Falls High School is at 4455 Porter Road.