School districts across the state have grappled with changes and challenges that accompanied implementation of the Common Core testing standards. During that time I have heard a great deal of feedback regarding the new direction of education in New York State.
In the Finger Lakes region and throughout New York, parents, educators and community leaders have expressed concerns about the implementation of the Common Core. Some say there is too much testing and others think that we need more time to get the proper tools in place to teach the new curriculum. Many people are worried that teacher evaluations based on the Common Core results do not accurately reflect the true ability of the educators being assessed. Still more New Yorkers are concerned about the privacy of student data being collected as a result of the implementation of the Common Core.
As a former educator, I know that all of these concerns are valid. We need time to evaluate and understand the impact of these new standards. Few things, if any, are more important than our children’s education. We must get this right.
Over the past few weeks, members of the Assembly Minority Conference have been hosting education forums around the state to give community members in every region a chance to discuss the issues and concerns they have with the direction of the state’s education policy. So far, the forums have generated a tremendous amount of attention and have given our members valuable insight.
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, I will be hosting a forum alongside several of my colleagues at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, 500 University Ave., Rochester from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. I welcome all of you to attend. A constructive dialogue between state representatives, parents, education experts and community leaders is vital to a healthy and thriving democracy. We have an opportunity and responsibility to make sure that one of the critical aspects of our society – education – is being provided in the most effective way.
Assemblyman Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, is the Assembly minority leader.