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Letters: Common Core complaints misread

This file image shows teens sitting in a

This file image shows teens sitting in a classroom and raising hands to answer aquestion. Credit: iStock

I would like to offer a history lesson for columnist Lane Filler ["Tiger parents -- and their opposites," Opinion, March 26]. The United States was founded by people who challenged oppressive policies imposed by a nonrepresentative government. Filler belittles parents who've decided to hold their children out of state testing by claiming that they are shielding them "from feelings of inadequacy."

As one of those parents, I'm opting out my two children because I believe that these assessments are developmentally inappropriate, pedagogically untested and politically motivated. Our decision was not made lightly and included all members of the family in the discussion.

As a high school social studies teacher, I hope that opting out will teach my children to question the conventional wisdom imposed by others, become informed and act on their convictions.

Perhaps Filler should have interviewed parents who are opting out, instead of imagining ludicrous reasons why they are doing so. By investigating this discontent, he could have upheld the tradition of a free press that questions political and economic motives in the name of the ordinary people.

Henry Dircks, Bethpage

I have been teaching math and math education for 43 years. I have experienced several curriculum changes. The Common Core State Standards has been, by far, the most controversial.

The curriculum itself is not the problem! The focus on problem-solving and fluency, throughout grade levels and topics, is needed to prepare our children for the future. The problem, which any teacher could have predicted, is how the curriculum and assessments were rolled out.

Why did the powers that be not see this? Starting in prekindergarten, one grade level should have been introduced each year. In this way. by the time the students were tested in third grade, they would have experienced the new material and pedagogy.

It's time for the state to realize this and just start over!

Susan Smith, Baldwin

Editor's note: The writer taught for 32 years in the East Meadow school district and is now an associate professor of education at Molloy College.

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