We must work to improve Common Core, not bury it

The Feb. 7 News editorial was a refreshing call on Common Core critics to propose solutions and work to improve the Common Core, not bury it. This has been the stance taken by many teachers and administrators in our Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES region since its adoption three years ago – learn the standards, understand the demands and work toward implementation. No system is perfect, but an object in motion stays in motion, and the change in expectations was needed.

This was uncharted territory for all of us, but our students and teachers have been demonstrating that they can handle the increased rigor that comes with the Common Core. Even if implementation has not always been smooth, now is not the time to pause. The work of these teachers and students should speak volumes, but has often gone unheard, as voices of opposition were louder and more prominent.

The response of the Board of Regents to the concerns expressed by many across the state was critical and it’s important to recognize that their overall message was one of support for continuing our forward motion. However, we have an obligation to the students in the graduating classes of 2014 through 2021 – that they have the same opportunity to be successful post-high school that we will be promising those who graduate in 2022.

I strongly urge the Regents and our governor to listen to the voices of educators who have seen the power of the Common Core in helping our students succeed, to hear the voices of the students who are rising to the challenge of increased rigor, and to continue thoughtful implementation of the Common Core without a pause, and with the resources to do it right.

Theresa L. Gray

Coordinator, Integrated Education

Services Erie 2-Chautauqua-

Cattaraugus BOCES