In My Opinion….


In my opinion, Common Core does not amount to sound policy in New York and must be repealed. The Assembly GOP and Dems are battling it out playing chess with the lives of our children. 2 Bills are at the heart of this issue. We must get this right.

I support A 8844 and Zeldin/Ball Bill 6604.

I do not support Nolan’s A8929. Neither should you.

Here’s why:


Nolan 8929

(credit goes to Loy Gross, for compare and contrast)

Please consider the Children of Common Core:

Moreover, a large body of evidence exists to debunk the value of Common Core to our students. Research demonstrates that countries that out perform the United States and show high student achievement do not use CCSS nor do they use higher level thinking pedagogies similar to CCSS.

These standards were crafted in conclusory form and implemented in NY without ever having been tested or piloted.

Thus, CCSS amounts to an unproven, unfounded experiment on our children in contravention of every student’s right to recieve a sound basic education in New York.

CCSS has the net effect of removing traditional math and replacing classic literature with tedious amounts of increased technical reading and writing that have not been shown to improve student achievement, In fact studies show that the higher level thinking forming the basis for measure has not proven to improve student achievement.

CCSS is a top-down set of standards tied to teacher evaluations and the lure of RTT monies, which connection diverts school districts’ of the autonomy they need to exercise local control, forcing districts to implement a myopic and “one size fits all” curriculum that undermines our district’s highly qualified administrators, teachers, and staff from being able to instill individualized lessons so that they can instill the joy of learning in our students.

CCSS does not address the needs of the individual learner, English language learners, or students with disabilities. The standard is utterly deficient in this regard as has been cited by the USDE Peer Panel in the 2012 ESEA Flex application review which noted these deficiencies. Did NYSED ever bother to correct them in good faith? No.

500 educators and child development professionals have declared grave concerns that CCSS are not developmentally appropriate, are didactic, and that the CCSS does not value practical, individual and experiential problem solving skills. This remains unrefuted except by those who have financial interests in the measure who support, in conclusory form but without evidence to back their claims. CCSS requires students to perform copious and tedious amounts of work under the guise of higher level thinking which impairs student performance, is an obstacle to student engagement, undermines student confidence and impedes the joy of learning,

Contrary to claims otherwise, truth be told, adoption of the CCSS occurred without the input of primary stakeholders, including teachers, administrators, parents, and community members which is a critical ingredient to sound decision making policies in public schools. This lack of transparency continues at every stop down the pike.

Significant time, effort and expense is associated with the modification of local curriculum to comply with the CCSS requirements and its implementation to the detriment of students and teachers.

Major investments to equipment and upgrades to infrastructure are required to comply with the requirements of PARCC that may undermine and/or preclude programs offered to students in school districts

NYSED/EngageNY modules have been rife with problems and errors thereby deterring parents and educators from using those resources at the outset. Unlike CT who recently launched a website assuring parents and educators that the materials provided therein have been vetted, NYSED has stated in writing that they cannot assure or guarantee the quality and/or integrity of resources that they provide on EngageNY and NYSED portals. NYSEDs ESEA Flex report dated 2012 took notice of “lack of quality control” mechanisms and brough this to NYSEDs attention. Did NYSED correct this deficiency? No. Commissioner King issued a tweet and a FB post issuing a disclaimer to EngageNY and alerting parents, students and educators that NYSED could not guaarantee the materials contained therein.

There is a lack of empirical data to support claims that CCSS increases student achievement. The objectives advanced in CCSS and its related pedagogies are conclusory due to lack of credible research and evidence.

Under CCSS, there now can be little variance from standards owned and copyrighted by private organizations and private companies serve to profit from CCSS while resources our public schools continue to dry up and dwindle at the expense of students and programs.

Assessments for Common Core haven’t been fully developed and will cost more and require more time for implementation and testing and are creating havoc around dinner tables and in homes of families across NYS.

Children are our most valuable investment and homes are our most valuable assets and that poor test scores affect our children, and community by having an impact on property values such that implementing CCSS amounts to gamble by taking a risk at the expense of students, teachers, community members, and district taxpayers.

Despite solid arguments advanced by educators, administrators, teachers, parents and child development professionals across NYS, Gov. Cuomo, the Regents and NYSED plan to continue implementing this experiment which does not amount to sound policy.

CCSS does nothing to account for poverty and in fact compounds the problem resulting in less financial resources for schools, AIS and teachers but forcing students and their parents to possibly invest in tutors to meet the “rigorous” standards coined as “higher level thinking”. Funny thing is, this pedagogy has not been shown to improve student achievement.

Data and stats supporting CCSS suggests that students require remedial help that formed the basis behind the need for “higher standards” has been manipulated and is not true. While this does not amount to fraud, says one Regent, it is not accurate depiction of facts either.

CCSS has resulted in schools diverting precious money and resources to mainstream education leaving special needs, gifted and ELL students in a lurch. Under CCSS, the State will not be able to sustain educational programs that amount to sound basic education. A lawsuit has been filed, NYSER et al v NYSED et al, to that extent.

How CCSS has an adverse impact on special needs pop of students:

CCSS in NY is a hot mess. CCSS must be suspended and repealed. A 8844, the Blue Ribbon Comission Bill with a companion Bill in the Senate, S 6044 Zeldin/Ball, is the right course in that it provides a mechanism to remover CC from the classroom which A8929, does not.

Our children are suffering.

They come first.

Suspending CCSS and repealing the measure is the objective.

The 3 years that Bill S 6604 provides us will allow us the opportunity as a State to fully investigate CCSS/other options or go back to the former method of teaching. CCSS is far less sound than its predecssor.

NCLB was a disaster, the teaching piece is not. The data has been skewed to suggest that the USA is in education disaster, when in fact, that is the farthest from  the truth.

Just look at the research – our country and our kids have been doing well compared to our competitors. CCSS MUST be removed from the classroom NOW and we dont years to argue about it while kids are being taught what amounts to nothing more than an experiment.

Assemblyman Kieran Lalor speaks out against CCSS at the 2/5/14 Hudson Valley Parent Education Initiative forum at Pok Grand w Luksik et al.

Sen. Greg Ball interviewed at OLL about CCSS:

Snippet Dr. Peg Luksik, re how adaptive testing does not amount to a valid assessment.

Leonie Haimson, Director Class Size Matters speaks on InBloom and student Privacy

Dr Luksik full Program on CCSS, Student privacy, LDS, RTT and Assessments 2/5/15

“Full length video of the Hudson Valley Parent Education Initiative’s Forum, starring Tom Sipos (WKIP Host), Kieran Lalor (Assemblyman), Andre Barnett (US Congressional Candidate), Anne LaValle (local parent and activist) and Dr. Peg Luksik (Former USDE Education Analyst/Educator/Mother/Activist/Poltician) and yes, Me (Parent/Esq/Activist).


Press from Regent Rosa, she and Cashin have spoken out against CCSS and INBloom. The balance of the Regents quash their concerns. I spokent to Regents Rosa, Phillips and Cashin personally, have examined their voting history and found that they advocate for parents and educators for the most part (Rosa and Cashin are champions).

Regent Rosa speaks out to the press against CCSS, testing et al: “We are overwhelming our poor kids with all this testing and evaluation.” “These standards have never been piloted or tested. How do we know we have the right standards in place?” “Is this just an experimental drug we are piloting on our children?

Regent Betty A. Rosa wants people to know that her board of 17 members aren’t all in agreement about the public education reform agenda that’s currently upsetting many parents, teachers and school administrators statewide.

In fact, she thinks the Common Core program is based on incomplete, manipulated data.

“They are using false information to create a crisis, to take the state test and turn it on its head to make sure the suburbs experience what the urban centers experience: failure,” said Rosa, a former teacher, principal and superintendent from the Bronx.

Rosa said the program is built on data from incoming freshman at public two-year and four-year colleges in New York, which suggests only 24 percent are ready for work or higher education. But it doesn’t consider data from private colleges, which are getting college-ready students — particularly from the suburbs, Rosa said. “The conversation is (that) kids are not ready; it’s really the black and brown children in urban centers,” said Rosa, who spent her first 10 years growing up in Puerto Rico before attending public schools and colleges in New York. She earned a doctorate in education from Harvard University in 1995.

Rosa said SED disregards data from successful schools to bolster its message that public education isn’t working. “I’m not saying it’s a fraud, but there’s a lack of understanding … of what’s behind the Common Core,” she said. “Do I believe that the purpose, the agenda is to create a sense of urgency around failure? Yes.”

Here is the article:

Lastly, an excellent (but long) article about compulsory education via non-govt lobbying efforts, what is wrong with CC and the various organizations that control it.

There is so much more to say.

So, please tell your local officials and State representative NOT to support A8929.

Here is the list of Dem Assemblymembers who support A8929. Please call them and tell them to get off the 8929 Bill please.

Please consider taking a few minutes to email the following with the message “Vote NO to Bill A08929” We need Common Core out of our schools!!!!.. Thank you!

Long Island: 631-361-2154
Albany: 518-455-2071

And for those who are really ambitious, here is the full list of 2013 EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS that you can contact:

  • 1. John J. Flanagan (Chair) 2 Smithtown (631) 361 2154 flanagan@nysenate.gov2. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr 15 Howard Beach (718) 738 1111

    3. Tony Avella 11 Bayside (718) 357 3094

    4. Neil D. Breslin 44 Albany (518) 455 2225

    5. Hugh T. Farley 49 Ballston Spa (518) 885 1829

    6. Andrew J Lanza 24 Staten Island (718) 984 4073

    7. George Latimer 37 Port Chester (914) 934 5250

    8. Kenneth P. LaValle 1 Mount Sinai (631) 473 1461

    9. Betty Little 45 Glen Falls (518) 743 0968

    10. Carl L Marcellino 5 Oyster Bay (516) 922 1811

    11. Jack M. Martins 7 Garden City
    Park (516) 746 5924

    12. George D. Maziarz 62 Lockport (716) 434 0680

    13. Velmanette Montgomery 25 Brooklyn (718) 643 6140

    14. Michael H. Ranzenhofer 61 Williamsville (716) 631 8695

    15. Joseph E. Robach 56 Rochester (585) 225 3650

    16. James L. Seward 51 Oneonta (607) 432 5524

    17. Toby Ann Stavisky 16 Flushing (718) 445 0004

    18. Cecilia Tkaczyk 46 Albany (518) 455 2470

    19. David J. Valesky 53 Syracuse (315) 478 8745

    New York State Assembly Members
    NAME DISTRICT Local Office(s) PHONE NUMBER Email
    1. Catherine Nolan (Chair) 37 Sunnyside; Ridegwood (718) 784-3194;

    2. Carmen Arroyo 84 Bronx (718) 292-2901

    3. Michael Benedetto 82 Bronx (2) (718) 320-2220

    4. James Brennan 44 Brooklyn (718) 788-7221

    5. Karim Camara 43 Brooklyn (718) 771-3105

    6. Barbara Clark 33 Queens Village (718) 479-2333

    7. Jane Corwin 144 Clarence (716) 839-4691

    8. Steve Englebright 4 East Setauket (631) 751-3094

    9. Al Graf 5 Holdbrook (631) 585-0230

    10. Carl Heastie 83 Bronx (718) 654-6539

    11. Earlene Hooper 18 Hempstead (516) 489-6610

    12. Kieran Michael Lalor 105 Hopewell Junction (845) 221-2201

    13. Peter Lopez 102 Catskill; Schoharie (518) 943-1371

    14. William Magnarelli 129 Syaracuse (315) 428 9651

    15. Alan Maisel 59 Brooklyn (718) 968-2770

    16. Shelley Mayer 90 Yonkers (914) 779-8805

    17. David McDonough 14 Bellmore (516) 409-2070

    18. Steven McLaughlin 107 Troy (518) 272-6149

    19. Michael Miller 38 Woodhaven (718) 805-0950

    20. Joan Millman 52 Brooklyn (718) 246-4889

    21. Daniel O’Donnell 69 New York City (212) 866-3970

    22. Amy Paulin 88 Scarsdale (914) 723-1115

    23. Edward Ra 19 Garden City (516) 535-4095

    24. Phil Ramos 6 Brentwood (631) 435-3214

    25. Robert Sweeney 11 Lindenhurst (631) 957-2087

    26. Claudia Tenney 101 New Hartford (315) 736-3879

    27. Fred Thiele, Jr. 1 Bridgehampton (631) 537-2583

    28. Matthew Titone 61 Staten Island (718) 442-9932

    29. Michele Titus 31 Far Rockaway; So. Ozone
    Park (718) 327-1845;

    30. Harvey Weisenberg 20 Long Beach (516) 431-0500

  • Thank you NY Guardians for that list!

Please join us in advocating for students and teachers throughout the State by clicking Hudson Valley Parent-Educator Initiative/ Hudson Valley Against Common Core (HVACC) to join our group and speak your mind on CCSS, HST, APPR and education policy:

Thank you!



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