Survey concludes Common Core is botched

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Connecticut teachers overwhelmingly say they support the goals of the new, so-called “Common Core” testings standards. But a survey of teachers in the state’s largest teacher union concludes that the roll-out of the ‘Common Core’ has been botched.

If you have kids in grade three through high school you probably have heard about this.

Starting next month, thousands of Connecticut school kids are scheduled to take new standardized tests on computers for the first time under what’s called the ‘Connecticut Common Core State Standards.”

Wednesday, the head of the state’s largest teacher’s union compared the new tests to the car that was the biggest flop in automotive history.

“The educational ‘Edsel’ we believe it’s time for it to be brought into the Connecticut garage to be fixed,” said Mark Waxenberg, CT Education Association union.

A survey of active teachers conducted this month shows that most kids, especially in the lower performing districts, are just not ready.

“Simply put, our teachers have not been afforded the time, they have not been afforded the resources and they have not been afforded the training and our students are being tested on material that they have not been taught,” said Sheila Cohen, Pres. CT Education Association union.

68 percent of the teachers surveyed say there is too much emphasis on the testing.

Survey respondents question whether all kids have the computer skills to take the tests. And, they note that essays on the tests will be corrected by computers that teachers say will only be looking for correct syntax and verbiage, the actual answer could be right or wrong.

There is almost unanimous support among the teachers surveyed for a moratorium on the testing in order to correct what they call flaws in the tests that were prepared without input from Connecticut.

“No Connecticut teacher was involved in the creation of these standards…no Connecticut teacher,” said Waxenberg.

The Minority Leader in the House who has been calling for an emergency public hearing so that parents can speak out on this announced Wednesday that he is using a special rule to force the Democratic majority to do it.

“The concerns that they expressed to you this morning are certainly concerns that are shared by hundreds of thousands of parents, teachers and students,” said Rep. Larry Cafero,(R) Minority Leader.

The following was a response from State Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor:
Commissioner of Education, Stefan Pryor:

“The implementation of the Common Core is a complex undertaking, and getting it right requires that we meet the needs of teachers and principals in our schools. That’s why, in response to feedback from teachers and other educators, we have sought to make the implementation more gradual. Specifically, we have given each school district the option of whether to administer a Common Core-aligned test or the old CMT/CAPT tests this spring, and we have reduced the stakes of the Common Core tests by enabling their removal from teacher evaluations for the next two school years. We have also provided new supports to teachers, including special training opportunities and a collection of resources on our website. We will continue to incorporate feedback from teachers as we build an education system that enables all our students fulfill their highest potential.”

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