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Phillips: State curriculum implementation is a 'disaster'

WATKINS GLEN—Watkins Glen Superintendent Tom Phillips reviewed the need for and challenges of the state’s mandated Common Core standards and new tests, during the Monday, Oct. 21, school board workshop. Last school year was the first full year the new curriculum was implemented in New York State. Phillips said the new standards are needed to make students ready for college, but added the implementation was “a disaster.” He said, “the state is trying to change 30 years of education in 18 months.” The change also included how the performance of teachers and administrators is reviewed.
“In New York the pace of change that is being dictated by the commissioner, state education department, and board of regents is simply unreasonable,” said Phillips. “Last year grades three through eight student Common Core assessments (state tests) were developed and administered before any curriculum modules were released by the state education department.”
The principals also reported how the district will address students’ results from the new tests for grades three through eight and improve them. This year the teachers are being given training through BOCES about the Common Core curriculum in math and English language arts, which will be implemented in their studies. Nan Woodworth-Shaw, administrator, explained students’ progress will be closely monitored during the school year through response to intervention (RTI) services.
Phillips encouraged parents to reach out to state representatives to voice concerns about the new curriculum. In other business:
• The board accepted the resignation of elementary teacher Alan Gregory effective Jan. 24, 2014.
• A $100 donation from the Mechanics Club was accepted for the lacrosse program.
• The following coaching appointments were also approved: Tyler Lattin as modified boys basketball coach; Travis Durfee as varsity boys track coach; and Scott Morse as varsity tennis coach.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 4. It is anticipated to begin at 6:30 p.m. following an executive session.




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