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Letter: Too Much And Too Soon

On Thursday, Jan. 23, the New York State Senate Education Committee met with State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. to discuss the flawed implementation of the Common Core curriculum and to find out what he was prepared to do to help students, parents and teachers.

During the meeting, I specifically asked the commissioner about changes to Regents Exams to match Common Core standards. I have serious concerns for our students who will be forced to take Common Core-based Regents Exams without the proper preparation. I asked the commissioner to address this issue.

Commissioner King explained that the Class of 2017 would be the first to face an altered Regents Exam format. That is too soon. It is blatantly unfair to ask teachers to administer and students to take tests on curriculum they have not been given the opportunity to master.

 I do not trust the State Education Department or the Board of Regents to fix this impending disaster. I will be introducing legislation that will guarantee that this year’s third-grade class will be the first to take Common Core based Regents Exams. It is too bad that it has come to this, but the stakes are simply too high.

Commissioner King believes we can adjust the program on the fly. I disagree. We should not experiment with the future of our students. We need to delay the testing schedule to allow students to gain the proper exposure and repetition with the material. Teachers need adequate time to develop the strategies to provide students with the optimum opportunity for success. Our students and teachers are the best in the country. We must support them.

Senator Carl L. Marcellino

5th Senate District