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Letter: Bring focus back to school children

Classrooms across Long Island were empty on Thursday.

Classrooms across Long Island were empty on Thursday. Check our listings of delayed openings, closures and cancellations to see what's in store for Friday. Credit: Daniel Brennan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was in New York this month to support pioneering efforts on the Common Core state standards ["U.S. ed secretary boosts NY's King," News, April 11].

He told the audience at NYU, "Stay the course, work with tremendous urgency and humility, and continue to lead with courage." New York would be wise to heed the advice of our nation's education leader. It is time to turn a page and get the focus back to where it belongs: on students.

Thanks to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Education Commissioner John B. King Jr., our state is leading the way in establishing higher standards that will help prepare all children for the challenges of a competitive global economy. These higher standards, based on the Common Core, were written by educators and built on timeless principles of education: critical thinking, textual analysis and digging deeper into complex issues so that students have as rich a learning experience as possible.

New York's higher standards are moving forward, but there's still more to do. Cuomo and the State Legislature came together to improve New York's move to these new, more rigorous learning standards. Now it's up to us as New Yorkers to come together and make this work for our kids.

Glen Weiner, Manhattan

Editor's note: The writer is the deputy executive director of StudentsFirstNY, an advocacy group for education reform.