Letters: Delay curriculum, teacher bonuses

A file photo of school buses.

A file photo of school buses. (Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara)

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I agree with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that the state's rollout of school curricula tied to the Common Core academic standards should be delayed and its implementation re-evaluated .

The disastrous implementation of the Common Core in New York explains the war going on in schools. The Common Core was rushed into schools without the support of teachers or students. There are too many flaws in the rigorous testing and new curriculum. Common Core must be taken back and re-evaluated before it ruins our schools and wastes more money.

I don't know why anyone felt the need to change an education system that has worked in the past.

Rosemary Ritter, Massapequa
 

The Teacher Excellence Fund proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo would help districts throughout New York provide bonuses of up to $20,000 to reward "highly effective" public school educators ["Technology for schoolkids wins support," News, Jan. 9]. However, are the qualifications for being a "highly effective" teacher really fair?

First, this fund is based on the fairly new Common Core standards that students and educators are finding very difficult to adopt, mainly because of its poor implementation.

A major qualification for the rating of "highly effective" is that a teacher's students have improved test scores. What happens when a reputable teacher has students who do not test well?

For teachers to keep their jobs, they are forced to teach students to simply achieve high test scores. What, then, will students actually be learning?

Teachers do not deserve such unnecessary pressure. What happens when an unsatisfactory teacher happens to have students who naturally test well? With the Teacher Excellence Fund, these teachers would be rewarded with a bonus that hardworking, esteemed teachers with low-scoring students would not receive.

There has to be a better way to distinguish a highly effective teacher from a developing or ineffective teacher. The Common Core standards are still so new; Cuomo should first let teachers get used to them before he tries the Teacher Excellence Fund.

Kelly Lyons, Hicksville
 

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