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Letter: Place a moratorium on Common Core

New York State Education Commissioner Dr. John B.

New York State Education Commissioner Dr. John B. King, Jr. is shown during a press conference following a presentation of the Regents Common Core Work Group report to the Board of Regents in Albany on Feb. 10, 2014. Credit: Philip Kamrass

We have 30 instructional days before schools are required to administer the next round of math and English Language Arts exams to students in grades 3 to 8. Continuing to give exams that ask for knowledge that has not been taught is simply unacceptable.

Schools should support the legislature's commonsense calls for a moratorium of the exams ["Lawmakers demand: Delay Common Core," News, Feb. 5], and not the editorial urging full-steam ahead ["Stop the testing tug-of-war," Feb. 9].

Educators statewide support the curriculum shifts and rigorous learning promoted in the Common Core movement, and we support teacher and principal accountability, but not at any cost. Western Suffolk BOCES superintendents and the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association have detailed suggestions to modify the reforms without reversing course. But State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. and the Board of Regents have repeatedly ignored all substantive suggestions. While educators would prefer to right the ship ourselves, the proposed action by the State Legislature now seems the surest way to correct our course in time to make a difference in the learning outcomes for our students.

A moratorium of this spring's exams to repair the problems is the responsible course of action. It will be rewarded by a renewed trust from the parents and children we all serve.

Michael Mensch, Dix Hills

Editor's note: The writer is the chief operating officer for Western Suffolk BOCES.


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