Lawmakers, Parents, Look For Answers on Common Core

BUFFALO, NY - To say that the new Common Core Standards have stirred a storm of controversy would be an understatement. And another public hearing on the new learning standards for students was scheduled for Tuesday evening at Akron High School.

Governor Cuomo, who pushed hard for New York to be among the first states to adopt the Common Core standards last year, now concedes some of the rollout has been "problematic."

However, as for changes, he says that is really out of his hands, suggesting the State Legislature may look to reform the controversial Common Core standards.

Lawmakers like NYS Assemblyman David DiPietro (R-147th District) have already heard an earful.

"I'm getting it from teachers, administrators, and parents galore," said DiPietro, who is hosting the hearing with NYS Assemblywoman Jane Corwin (R-144th District).

"I don't see the legislature being able to make any changes this year," Corwin told WGRZ-TV. "But if we're ever going to make changes we have to start now and work as fast as possible."

Corwin recalled a similar furor over a math program several years ago.

"If you remember we had the "Everyday Math" program and the year after it was implemented teachers were saying it wasn't effective, and it took ten years to make that go away. If there is a real problem with Common Core we need to address it right away," Corwin said.

Two parents who planned to attend the forum had plenty to say about the Common Core, and not much of it was good when they spoke to Channel 2 news.

"It is a one size fits all curriculum and there's not enough time in the day to teach individual needs of a student and that's concerning to me," said Tracy Diegelman, who has three children in the Lancaster school district. Fellow Lancaster parent Danielle Haen added, "to say that everyone in the United States is common and we all need the same curriculum and the same standards is wrong."

State Education Commissioner John King says there is still a lot of misinformation about the Common Core.

In a statement, he insisted: "It's not a curriculum. Districts still have the flexibility to choose their own curriculum."

DiPietro says that is not what he's been hearing from educators in his district.

"No, that's not what we're hearing. That's sort of like 'you get to keep your health care plan if you like it'... it's one size fits all and that is disrupting our schools state wide."

Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 On Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Norm Fisher. Follow Dave on Twitter: @DaveMcKinley2


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