Written by: John Ferro
Less than two weeks after the state revamped its rollout of the Common Core education standards, most in an audience of 100 residents at Our Lady of Lourdes High School on Monday night expressed support for a more drastic change — a complete rejection of them.
That was the message delivered by a former teacher, self-described citizen activist and founder of a group that seeks “to define the relationship among our Creator, our government and ourselves.”
“Step number one is repeal,” said Peg Luksik of Johnstown, Pa.-based Founded on Truth. “Stop the poison. Free your teachers to teach. Allow your children to learn. Tell the federal government we do not need education by bureaucracy — go home.”
The attendees responded with a standing ovation.
“I think the kids are getting thrown too much stuff, too fast,” said Rhinebeck resident Bridget Wyant, who attended the forum at the Town of Poughkeepsie private Catholic school with her 11-year-old son, Mason Savage.
“Sometimes,” Savage said, “we can’t get something taught in the classroom because the teacher says we are not allowed.”
Monday night’s forum, organized by state Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, echoed a frustration that has been voiced at forums around the county and the state — a sense that local control has been lost.
In response to the outcry, the state Board of Regents earlier this month adopted several measures to adjust the implementation of the Common Core learning standards.
Included are changes that will delay the impact of Common Core-related state assessments on students and reduce the level of local school district testing associated with the new, higher standards.
“The board listened to the concerns of parents, teachers and legislators and have made significant and timely changes to improve the implementation of the Common Core,” state Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman said.
Burman said “the changes will help give principals, teachers, parents and students the time to adjust to the new standards without stopping our progress toward the goal we all share: college and career-readiness for every student.”
Luksik said the standards do little to achieve that goal.
She said schools wind up spending all of their time remediating the bottom children, trying to get them to minimum standards, instead of allowing every child to reach his or her potential.
“Children are caught in a morass of an educational curriculum that is simultaneously age-inappropriate and too difficult for them to work with,” she said. “… So what we have is a system that every child must be identical — and a reality that no two children are identical.” (ARTICLE)