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

As a former teacher, assistant principal and principal for more than 50 years in the New York City school system, I was pleased to read "Tilles defends Common Core" [News, Oct. 3]. Although I thoroughly agree that the Common Core stresses high standards, I also feel that we are losing sight of that with an emphasis on testing, data and paperwork.

I work with student teachers in two city schools. The implementation all at once of new reading and math curricula, a new evaluation system, and a new certification process is overwhelming for teachers and supervisors. Most teachers feel they are spending so much time grading tests and collecting and entering data that they have little time to actually teach. There is also a lack of emphasis on science, social studies, art, music and physical education.

I feel that whoever is responsible for writing these new curricula are not familiar with the daily issues that arise in each classroom. Are they educators? Or are they businessmen? Children are not products or commodities, they are human beings. We want to nurture them and afford them opportunities to enhance their critical thinking skills. We cannot do this in an atmosphere of frustration.

I see wonderful teachers losing their enthusiasm and passion daily. It hurts me to see a wonderful, creative profession losing its momentum. I fear that we will lose an entire generation of students if we do not stop, breathe and think of a better way to do this.

Dianne G. Sandler, Whitestone

I concur with Roger Tilles of the New York State Board of Regents. The Common Core does make students think, but what they are thinking is, "Why has our education been hijacked by for-profit corporations such as CTB/McGraw-Hill and NCS Pearson Inc.?"

Steve Freeman, North Bellmore

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Long Beach Classroom Teachers Association.


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