The message conveyed at Levittown Hall Monday night was clear: The Common Core standards are “hurting the children...and that is the most important issue."
The meeting was created by Marianne Adrian, a Levittown parent. Guest speakers included Jeanette Deutermann, founder of Long Island Opt-Out, Dr. Joe Rella, Superintendent of Schools in Comsewogue, Yvonne Gasperino, Founder of Stop the Common Core in NYS, and Marla Kilfoyle, a parent and General Manager of BATs.
Deutermann was first to speak to the packed crowd and she brought up a number of concerns.
“We’ve seen our kids go from happy... and many of us have seen a change," said Deutermann. “We’ve seen them cry at night over their homework, we've tried to help but even with college degrees it is difficult."
Deutermann's Long Island Opt-Out Facebook page has 11,511 members and allows people to ask questions, post links and share their experiences with the testing.
“The idea isn’t a bad thing – we all want our kids to be better,” Deutermann said. "We want to see them succeed, but it’s the way in which that has to happen, that is the problem. What price are we willing to pay to see that improvement in the kids?”
Speakers brought up a number of other concerns with the Common Core. The difficulty and rigor of the work, the effect it is having on both students and teachers, the fact that special needs students take the same test and the collection of data on children by inBloom were a few other issues brought up.
“The outrage has nothing to do with the curriculum, “ Rella said. “This springs from something much more basic and much more serious – the common core initiative is hurting our children.”
Rella, who received a standing ovation from the crowd, listed other negative effects he feels the Common Core is having on children.
“Increase levels of anxiety. Stress, behavioral problems,
sleep deprivation, respiratory issues, and in worst cases, self-abusive and
self-destructive behaviors,” he said.
“Little kids, children are experiencing this."
The state education department has never addressed or acknowledged these problems, according to Rella.
"Any test that is designed to have 70 percent of the students taking it fail, is abusive,” Rella said.
Emotions ran high at a Town Hall in Poughkeepsie on Oct. 10, with New York State education commissioner John King suspending the remaining meetings.
A total of 45 states have adopted the Common Core Standards Initiative, which focus on the subjects of Math and English Language Arts.
According to the mission statement of the Common Core: "With students, parents and teachers all on the same page and working together for shared goals, we can ensure that students make progress each year and graduate from school prepared to succeed in college and in a modern workforce."
Stay with Patch for more coverage on the Common Core Standards Initiative.