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Local News

November 7, 2013

Educators, parents discuss school overhaul

(Continued)

“It is a myth perpetuated by those who benefit from it,” she said. But instead of solving "a problem that never existed," teachers are forced to teach to the test because their careers depend on it, she said. The “education-industrial complex” it has created relies on the federal dollars the federal government provides, she said.

While those who would privatize and market education are powerful and strong, the turnout Wednesday indicates that changes can be made, she said.

Several Oneonta City School District teachers shared their concerns with the issues. Greater Plains first-grade teacher Vicki Lyall said the math and English modules were hastily rolled out, with many becoming available shortly before school started — and some are still not ready.

The scripts they call for teachers to use could result in “the love of teaching being taken from them,” she said, adding: “The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t meet the needs of all students.”

The material is of such poor quality that teachers have to review it before it's used, she said.

Ninth-grade English teacher Susan Murphy said the Common Core is the “head of the beast.” It's designed only to get students ready for a two-year college and create “a generation of worker bees,” she said. It has a built-in bias against the arts and anything that can’t be measured, she said.

Parents and teachers were among the speakers in the second half of the program who talked about the problems they were having with the current system. They included Worcester parent Jeff Lengel, who was hopeful the spirit expressed at the meeting would continue. Otherwise, based on the reactions of his children already school, he is afraid to send his daughter to school in the fall. She is naturally curious and “I don’t want that to change,” he said, because of the requirements all schools are facing.

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