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Common Core Critic Speaks Out

Gail Richmond says she may be retired from teaching music bus she feels as though she has a full-time job teaching people about recent changes in education practices in New York. Thursday night, she spent two hours in a small room that held about twenty five people, talking about what she sees as a "money driven" system that she believes will hurt children.

"This is a really brave step that you're taking," Richmond told the group. "I'm here before you because I love public education and I love children."

The gathering was arranged by a new group called the New Scotland  Elementary School Parent Advocacy Group, formed by a few members of the local PTA who grew concerned about the Common Core eduational standards that were administered in public schools in New York for the first time during the 2012-2013 school year. The program has been adopted in forty-five states and is supposed to prepare students for college in a way that supporters claim will help the U.S. compete in the global market. Detractors say the standardized nature of the program will be detrimental to some students. Teachers have concerns about the new program coming at the same time the state is implementing new annual performance reviews of their work.

Among the group, Lisa Levine is a math and reading teacher at the Scott M. Ellis Elementary School in Greenville. She says now that the program is in its second year, more people are realizing what a change is in strore for teachers and parents who grew up in the "old-school" system.

"We've written some letter before expressing concerns to our school district but I think now we know it's bigger than that and maybe we would have to contact our legislators," says Levine.

Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy told the group it was a good thing when New York Education Commissioner John King canceled a series of public meetings after cutting one short in Poughkeepsie last week. She pointed out King is looking at arranging more such meeting and suggested it will bring the matter to the attention of more people.

 
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