Despite valid opposition and protests, the Common Core standards are among the boldest and most serious national efforts ever made to place educational reform front and center ["A realistic endorsement of the Common Core," News, May 12].

According to the annual report of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 38 percent of 12th-graders performed at or above "proficient" in reading, and 26 percent were at or above "proficient" in mathematics. This is disastrous.

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The Common Core reportedly pinpoints specific goals for each grade in English and math that would place students on the correct readiness level. One of the most daunting challenges for teachers and students is spending excessive time on what should have been learned in previous grades.

Our country's founders created a Constitution replete with amendment potential, based on changing circumstances and continued development. This is a model for educational reform, which can still include input from states, teachers unions and the most prudent educational minds in our midst. Classroom teachers, especially, are in a position to review the curricula and suggest revisions.

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Veteran educators have witnessed many very promising and potential innovations that were abandoned instead of corrected.

Fred Barnett, Lake Grove

Editor's note: The writer taught for 45 years in the Levittown public schools.