Yorktown Heights, N.Y. – 02/12/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) in conjunction with Parents for a Common Cause hosted a student-based Common Core workshop at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School in Yorktown Heights on Tuesday evening.
Dozens of students and parents attended the workshop to voice their concerns over the Common Core standards. Students grades 3rd through 9th were broken up into three separate groups to provide feedback and suggestions about the Common Core standards and implementation.
Senator Ball hosted the student-based workshop to hear more from those that Common Core directly affects, the children.
“According to the federal government, Common Core was designed to provide a uniformed standard for students, preparing them for college and careers. Regardless of the good intentions, Common Core has become an Uncommon Disaster. I hosted a community forum at Carmel Town Hall to hear first hand from hundreds of my constituents. This student-based workshop gave me a chance to hear directly from the children that are affected by these standards every day,” said Senator Greg Ball. “My office has been inundated with phone calls, emails, letters and faxes from parents, teachers, students and community members that are very concerned with this new program. We must be committed to providing our students with the best possible education available. However, education is not about teaching to the test and it should never become a one size fits all endeavor, sinking to the lowest common denominator.”
Senator Greg Ball currently has a bill that calls for an immediate 3-year moratorium on the controversial new standards until the issues can be resolved. In addition to Senator Ball’s legislation, he has also launched a petition to stop Common Core in NYS on his Senate website that now has over 6,000 signatures. To sign Senator Greg Ball’s Petition to Stop Common Core in NYS visit: nysenate.gov/webform/petition-stop-common-core-new-york-state.
Denise Kness, mother of two at Lakeland Central School District and co-founder of Parents for a Common Cause, expressed her appreciation to Senator Greg Ball for giving students the opportunity to be heard.
“The student workshop was designed to give kids an informal way to tell their experience to the Senator,” said Kness. “What better way to learn what is happening in education than by asking the ultimate consumer, the students!”
“We need to continue having these types of conversations with our elected officials so that they understand the impact of the Common Core on our children, families and schools,” said Karen Pressman, co-founded of Parents for a Common Cause.
“I think things have changed in the past year with the development of Common Core. Ideas have changed and a lot of teachers have had to shape themselves from good teachers into monotone teachers to try to fit the new Common Core standards,” said Anuk De Silva, 8th grader Copper Beech Middle School. “We are doing so much work that we’re not actually learning. We are just trying to get through our work and finish it as quick as we can, because there is so much to do. It has taken away our creativity.”
“The tests are very stressful, if you don’t know some of the stuff you start to freak out,” said Kaitlyn McArdle, 6th grader Copper Beech Middle School. “This year I have at least have two hours of homework every night.”
“I am so pleased that we are hosting this tonight, because this is really where the rubber meets the road. Parents, educators and legislators can talk about these issues, but [students] are the ones that deal with curriculum, instruction and assessment every day,” said Lakeland Central School District Superintendent Dr. George Stone. “We want to hear firsthand the issues, problems and the things that can be improved and the things [the students] feel are working, so we can together forge a path forward.”
Senator Greg Ball will host his next Common Core Forum at Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM. Parents, students, educators and concerned residents are all invited to attend. Attendees will be given a chance to speak, but will be asked to limit their remarks to three minutes.
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