Letter: Common Core work frustrates student

An empty classroom at William Floyd High School

An empty classroom at William Floyd High School in Mastic Beach in 2011. (Credit: Daniel Brennan)

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I would have chuckled at the irony had I not been so enraged by my 9-year-old daughter's homework assignment ["Lawmakers demand: Delay Common Core," News, Feb. 5].

She was to read a poem titled "Can't," by Edgar Guest. "Can't" is the way she feels on a daily basis at school since the Common Core curriculum was instituted.

She was to interpret the meaning of words based on their context in the poem, originally published in 1916. One of the stanzas reads:

Can't is the father of feeble endeavor,

The parent of terror and

half-hearted work;

It weakens the efforts of

artisans clever,

And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.

It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,

It stifles in infancy many a plan;

It greets honest toiling with open derision

And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of man.

My daughter could not understand the underlying meaning of the poem, never mind infer the meaning of words such as "blight" or "lodgment."

We risk losing a generation of naturally curious, enthusiastic students due to a poorly implemented, developmentally inappropriate, mandated curriculum.

Therese Regan, Smithtown
 

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