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[Susan notes: The writer has taught for 24 years, as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher. Kudos to her for speaking out.]

Published in New York Times
03/13/2014

To the editor

Re Prepare Teachers for the Common Core (editorial, March 1):



The panel convened by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to review problems with the adoption of the Common Core standards is another example of why politicians should not interfere in education. The problem with this curriculum is not that it has not incorporated the time to teach teachers how to adapt it for their classrooms; any educated individual could learn about it on the EngageNY website.



The problem is far more fundamental -- it is the curriculum itself that is flawed. The Common Core is poorly written and fails to account for the stages of child development. In short, it defines "rigor" by purporting to teach above-grade-level concepts to students. What is the point of teaching fifth-grade math or literature concepts to fourth-grade students?



No doubt few politicians have even read the Common Core curriculum, which spans over a thousand pages per grade level. This curriculum has become a political behemoth, with some administrators espousing its wonders in propaganda videos.



The solution is not to invest money in teacher workshops. The panel must focus on the overhaul of a badly designed curriculum so it truly meets the needs of students on every grade level.







Gail Kaplan Guttman


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