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November 7, 2013

Educators, parents discuss school overhaul


The only person to take exception to some of the comments was Unadilla Valley Superintendent Robert Mackey, who said that while he isn't a believer standardized testing for grades 3-8 , the blame belongs on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, not state Education Commissioner John King, for forcing schools to adopt APPR.

But because of modules and reviews that make teachers focus on how to engage students, “I’ve seen struggling learners succeed,” Mackey said.

Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, told the audience he had come to listen to their concerns.

“These are challenging days in education,” he said. While the legislature does not set educational policy, some of the reactions members are seeing from the initiatives are causing them to get involved in some issues. The less-than-satisfactory rollout of the Common Core has convinced him that “we need to slow down” and give more control to parents and teachers and more flexibility to districts in implementing the rules, he said.

That's something King is hearing, and Seward said he will be advocating that position in upcoming sessions of the Education Committee, he said.

More information about the group and the petition they are circulating is available at or on the Oneonta Area for Public Education Facebook page.

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