On the evening of Monday, Nov. 18, several parents and educators from around Central New York gathered at C.W. Baker High School for a forum with state Assemblymen to discuss the Common Core Curriculum and its current implementation.
The forum was moderated by Assemblyman William Barclay and included a panel of his colleagues; assemblymen Al Graf, Edward Ra, Robert C. Oakes and Gary D. Finch. This was the fifth of such a forums being held across the state to perform a qualitative, in-depth investigation of whether the implementation of the Common Core Curriculum, as mandated by New York State Education Department (NYSED), is effective or not in trying to achieve the standards of educational proficiency it hopes to achieve.
Several groups, including district superintendents, member of the SUNY system, local chambers of commerce, school administrators, teachers, education union representatives, parents, parent-teacher-student advocacy groups and students themselves, came from across the region to present their views and concerns about the Common Core to the panel.
The forum, originally planned for two hours, ran about five hours . Assemblyman Graf opened discussions for the evening by addressing the audience, requesting input about what they have experienced with the implementation of the Common Core Curriculum. He especially wanted to know whether the process has been a positive step or if it has been, in fact, ineffective. Of the many views expressed, common sentiments were voiced from the groups addressing the panel. They agreed with the principal of the Common Core Curriculum to encourage higher standards in education to prepare students to be a competitive work force in a global economy and the creation of a national standardized curriculum that is the same from state to state, for each grade level across the country. To have high standards and a prepared workforce was considered a positive aspiration. Where groups found fault with the Common Core Curriculum was the way in which the NYSED forced the rollout of the program.