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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Teacher on Common Core panel rips report, process

A high school teacher on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Common Core commission issued a statement Tuesday blasting the panel’s recommendations and process.

Todd Hathaway, a teacher in East Aurora, southeast of Buffalo, said the panel’s report was rushed and incomplete. The report was issued less than 24 hours before the State Legislature is set to elect state Regents, a process tangled up with Common Core disgruntlement.

Here are some excerpts from Hathaway’s statement:

-- “The report was released suddenly, even as final comments were still being solicited.  I had indicated the likelihood I would dissent and not allow the report to be spun as ‘consensus.’ Nevertheless, the report was issued with my name attached. I am very concerned that the report tries to make it seem like all the discussion had been completed.  In fact, the Executive Office repeatedly ignored my concerns and the legitimate concerns of others about inappropriate state testing, the misuse of invalid tests for evaluations and the lack of transparency in state testing. The result is that some of the report’s conclusions and suggestions do not hold up to scrutiny. I wouldn’t accept this kind of work from my students and I don’t accept it here.”

 -- “The report seems to blame everybody else for the problems of the Common Core learning standards without adequately addressing the appropriateness of some of the standards and the testing that goes with it.”

 -- “Finally, this panel should have recognized the need to pause in the use of assessments for high-stakes decisions for students and teachers. This would have allowed the state Education Department, as well as school districts, to refine the tests and testing materials; teachers to engage in the standards and develop a variety of lessons to meet them instead of just relying on modules; parents to understand the role and utility of data in education; and for teachers to receive the necessary professional development.”  

Cuomo, when asked on a public radio program, sought to dismiss Hathaway's objections. "I don't see any way there could be consensus," the governor said of the panel's report.

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