Westchester School Districts Await New Common Core Report

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Educators state-wide have asked for more time to implement the Common Core Learning Standards. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – A state Board of Regents task force is expected to release a report Monday recommending improvements for the rollout of the Common Core Curriculum, and Westchester School Districts are awaiting it.

State legislators last week called for a two-year moratorium on the implementation of the controversial new standards, which parents and educators have said were rolled out too quickly. The request would also halt the use of a private company, inBloom, to store and manage student data, which many more worry will use that data for marketing purposes.

New York adopted the Common Core in 2010 to qualify for federal Race to the Top funds - $700 million – which was allocated to all public schools in the state which opted in. However, more than 30 area school districts have opted out of RTTT. Many said they did so because of the requirement to use inBloom.

School districts collect up to 150 data points per student that is used to help better teach them. Up to 450 data points would have to be provided to inBloom and shared on an online digital dashboard, according to Yorktown School Superintendent Ralph Napolitano.

“The Yorktown community does not feel the same level of confidence in the amount of data being requested nor the security of these data,” he has said.

“Also, we believe that the additional personal information should not be shared without parent notification and consent.”

Lisa Davis, of the Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association, said school districts would have no control whatsoever as to which data items are reported or what happens from there. Most districts that returned the RTTT money had already used most of it. 

The task force recommendations aren’t expected to address questions about the security of inBloom, only the testing, which many have called “high stakes”.

If the task force recommends a delay, legislators have said it should be used to help districts meet and fully align its curriculum with the Common Core .

“Parents, teachers, administrators and educational professionals have spoken – we need more time to implement the Common Core in a thoughtful and successful manner for our kids in Westchester and throughout the state who have been subject to onerous testing and unnecessary burdens,” said Assemblyman David Buchwald, who represents District 93 covering Bedford, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge and the City of White Plains.

State Sen. Greg Ball, who has called for a three-year moratorium on common core, will help host a student-based common core workshop at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School in Yorktown Heights Tuesday from 6 to 7 p.m.

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bob.zahm.5:

Brian - the report is out and it's a pretty big disappointment. Some reduction in testing; some slowdown in adoption of on-line testing and teacher / administrator evaluations, but little more than the Regents - again - asking the legislature and governor for more money.

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