Critics of Common Core question changes proposed in state budget

ELMA, N.Y. (WIVB) - At a forum Saturday afternoon at Iroquois Middle School in Elma there was no shortage of criticism of the Common Core standards.

New York State Assemblyman David DiPietro said, “The way it is today is destroying our kids’ confidence and it’s destroying our teachers’ ability to teach the way they’ve been taught to teach and that’s with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”

Hoping to calm some of the concerns from parents, teachers and students, legislators added certain provisions in the proposed state budget to lessen the importance of standardized tests.

Arguably one of the biggest changes is a 2% time limit on the amount of time teachers can spend in the classroom preparing students for the test.

Chris Cerrone, a teacher in Hamburg and a member of the New York State Allies for Public Education, said he’s not convinced.

He explained, “They can say that but it really doesn’t change the fact that schools are still going to want to have higher test scores which means that students will be receiving less instruction in social studies and the arts and the concentration will still be on the testing subjects of English and math.”

The proposed budget also solidifies a ban against standardized testing in kindergarten to second grade.

For the rest of students, it prevents test scores from ending up on permanent records or being used for placement.

Denise Daley is a parent and said, “There wasn’t testing for K-2 anyway there were other measures but those children are still going to be measured.”

It also doesn’t take the pressure off of teachers.

Daley explained, “Those scores weren’t counting against those students anyway it’s still affecting the teachers, which is another issue that really needs to be addressed.”

The second round of standardized tests based on the Common Core will begin on Tuesday.

Despite the proposed changes, many parents still plan to opt out of the test for their children.

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