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The Common Core conundrum

Are the new standards the best thing to happen in education or are they setting the bar too high for teachers and students?

Tiffany MacRae, of Jordan, made these shirts for her children to wear on Nov. 18. She got the idea from a Facebook friend who had designed the shirts for her kids, and liked the idea for her daughters.

Tiffany MacRae, of Jordan, made these shirts for her children to wear on Nov. 18. She got the idea from a Facebook friend who had designed the shirts for her kids, and liked the idea for her daughters. Sarah Hall

— Many issues were connected to the Common Core rollout, including the lack of input from educators of what the curriculum is, the demand to teach curriculum modules that have not even been written yet, the fact that their current year’s module of instruction was received less than 24 hours before the school year started and the incompleteness of the modules which also had some glaring errors.

“We received Common Core Curriculum a mere few days before school started,” said Marilyn Chase, who has been a kindergarten teacher in the Phoenix School District for more than 20 years. “There [were] over 500 pages of documents and instruction of lessons to review before school started, in a far-from-adequate time frame to be prepared to give our students the best instruction and learning experience possible.”

Barclay said he hopes to take the suggestions offered in these forums and, with his fellow Assembly members, to create and put forth legislation that will alter the current implementation of the Common Core curriculum so that educators can be supported to successfully teach the curriculum to students.

Common Core in the Eastern suburbs

Meanwhile, on the East side of Syracuse, test scores range from 33 percent of students meeting or exceeding the math standards in the East Syracuse Minoa School District to 70.1 percent in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District. The Jamesville-DeWitt School District fell right in the middle, with 51 percent of its students meeting or exceeding the math standards.

Yet all three districts saw their students perform above the state average of 30.9 percent of students who met or exceeded the math standards. And despite the fact that F-M pulled in the highest scores in Onondaga County and the second highest scores in Upstate New York, Superintendent Corliss Kaiser said she’s not satisfied with the results.

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