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[Susan notes: For the K-2 Common Core curriculum, Engage NY uses materials from E. D. Hirsch's Core Knowledge storehouse:


1. Nursery Rhymes and Fables (18 instructional days)

2. Five Senses (16 instructional days)

3. Stories (15 instructional days)

4. Plants (16 instructional days)

5. Farms (14 instructional days)

6. Kings and Queens (14 instructional days)

7. Seasons and Weather (14 instructional days)

8. Colonial Towns (17 instructional days)

9. Taking Care of the Earth (15 instructional days)

Grade 1

1. Different Lands, Similar Stories* (11 instructional days)

2. Fables and Stories* (16 instructional days)

3. The Human Body (14 instructional days)

4. Early World Civilizations (21 days)

5. Early American Civilizations (19 instructional days)

6. Astronomy (14 instructional days)

7. Animals and Habitats (20 instructional days)

8. Fairy Tales (16 instructional days)

9. History of the Earth (16 instructional days)

When will the union ask Who's in Charge? Who Gets to Decide?


Published in New York Teacher

To the editor

Re Common Core and the challenges it brings

With the utmost respect to our administrative leaders and school communities ... I teach first grade in the Rochester City School District, which has a high concentration of poor people. Our performance over the years has been very low.

This year the district forced us to implement fully the listening and speaking domains of the new Common Core curriculum. We are expected to implement writing, reading, math and the rest of the curriculum beginning next year. We are ahead of the game, but we are sorely disappointed. We are skipping more local and current history and teaching first-graders about Mesopotamia and cuneiform. How is this "research-based" and who did the research? Also, my students just took the January Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) benchmark test. Computers and technology were a barrier.

Students who started the test had to stop in the middle and wait for the sound to come back on in their headphones because, in our lab, a high number of students online knocks out the sound randomly in some of the headphones. Thus, the kids were told to go read books and lost their test-taking momentum.

Some of the items on the test are not part of the curriculum! My students had to answer many questions about time to the minute, graphing information, and add/subtract equations such as "56 + 3 =." However, our curriculum does not include time to the minute; graphing isn't supposed to be taught until fourth grade; and adding/subtracting fluency is supposed to be within sums of 20 (at this point we have many kids who are still struggling with the concepts themselves).

How are these things being resolved? Are State Education Department salaries contingent upon these test scores, since they are ignoring reality and enforcing such a ludicrous process? I am dying to know!

Marne Kinney

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