A student works on a problem in a 9th grade...

A student works on a problem in a 9th grade Integrated Algebra class at Freeport High school where the lessons are based on the Common Core standards. (March 7, 2012) Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile

I would like to invite writer Craig Johnson ["For students, Common Core is critical," Opinion, Nov. 8] to observe a Long Island elementary school class that is implementing this curriculum. Although Johnson states that the goal of Common Core is not about testing, I'm uncertain whether he truly understands how the curriculum's goals will be achieved.

Examining data is just one way to determine effective learning. The best practice is ongoing observation of our students' performance, along with countless decisions based on our assessments. It's plain for teachers to see that our young students are more than a test score.

The reality is that the value of the time and money we are spending to put the Common Core into practice is measured by a test score. The cost is not just money. I urge decision-makers to remember the cost of crushing children's natural curiosity, paid by testing them into the ground.

Rissa Sable Zimmerman, Dix Hills

Editor's note: The writer teaches third grade at the Vanderbilt Elementary School in the Half Hollow Hills school district.

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