The Bottom Line on N.Y. Common Core

Having difficulty posting to my blog. Computer glitches.  Here is the link to the Superintendent's letters to Parents and to his state representative.

I read a post on Diane Ravitch's blog today about a New York District Superintendent who is standing up against Common Core Standards as they exist in infancy but which have prematurely instituted the new Common Core tests for all New York State students. When the scores were published earlier this week  they showed a drop of 30% in the state average.  Here is Dr. Rella's letter to N.Y. Senator Kenneth LaValle which he also sent in part to all parents in his district. Also included is a letter that NY Ed Commissioner John King sent to all parents in the state. What do you think?

I sent those letters and one of my own to all Louisiana State Legislators as follows:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Attached you will find a letter from Superintendent of the Comsewogue School District in New York State to New York Senator Kenneth P. LaValle along with an accompanying letter that New York Commissioner of Education John B. King, Jr. sent to all New York State Parents. I have also attached a letter sent by Dr. LaValle to all parents in his district.

As you may know, New York State just released test scores based on the new Common Core State Standards.  It has been widely reported that these scores dropped an average of 30%. These letters identify clearly and correctly the problem that Louisiana is also facing and which will be increased exponentially if the new Common Core testing is allowed to be introduced in 2014-15.

Louisiana will be using the new Common Core tests next school year.  Superintendent John White has predicted that Louisiana scores will also drop based on the same arguments that Mr. King has put forth.   Keep in mind that not only will our students be discouraged, some will be retained, and some may be denied TOPS or acceptance to the university of their choice, but teachers will be facing the loss of employment and the inability to practice their profession.

This is plainly and simply NOT ACCEPTABLE!   The legislature missed an opportunity to end or delay the administration of these tests along with the application of the Common Core Standards by voting against a bill filed by Senator A. G. Crowe.  Senator Crowe was acting in response TO HIS CONSTITUENCY hugely influenced by parents and educators.

You may also remember that teacher Herb Bassett presented documentation/proof to the Senate Education Committee that the school performance score formula created and re-created by Supt. White was deeply flawed.  Dr. Mercedes Schneider, St. Tammany teacher and statistician, has published numerous analyses of Supt. White's teacher evaluation formula, school performance scores, and school grading methodology showing that without a doubt they are flawed and manipulated.  Supt. White uses the same "policy mania" that former Indiana/Florida Superintendent of Education Tony Bennett used which caused him to lose his elected position in Indiana and his recently appointed position in Florida.

Common Core is a bipartisan screw up as evidenced by the strong objections from the Republican National Committee, Tea Party, several states who have either refused to accept or have recently pulled out, and last but not least QUALIFIED EDUCATORS - and I'm talking about the same educators that Supt. White falsely claims "Believe" in the new standards.

It is within the power of the legislature to convene a meeting of the Joint Education Committees for the purpose of a full hearing from all stakeholders on these issues BEFORE Louisiana becomes further mired in the false hopes of reform, further indebted due to the high costs of implementation and testing, and further ostracized nationally for its FAILURE to show that reform and the privatization of education can improve learning for our children or solve the primary cause  - POVERTY!

I respectfully request that a hearing be set as soon as possible and that all stakeholders have an opportunity to present full testimony.         

Lee P. Barrios, M.Ed., NBCT   

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