The following Newsday opinion article was written by Carol Burris and John Murphy. Carol Burris was named Educator of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York State, and in 2013, she was named SAANYS New York State High School Principal of the Year. John Murphy is an assistant principal at South Side High School. He was recognized by the Harvard Club and Phi Delta Kappa for his teaching and outstanding leadership. John is South Side’s International Baccalaureate coordinator.
The furor of parents over the Common Core and all that comes with it rocked a Manorville forum sponsored this fall by state Sen. Ken LaValle. Despite consistent pleas to slow down testing of students and implementation of the Common Core standards, the commissioner and the Regents trudge ahead. Even the Regents’ announcement this week that the board will appoint a subcommittee to review the new standards’ introduction came with the statement that “moving forward with Common Core is essential.”
The subcommittee comes after numerous forums where those on the dais stared, scribbled notes or whispered to each other. Their responses were practiced — which was not lost on parents. And that’s the source of the furor: Parental anger is heightened because there’s been no authentic response to their concerns nor substantive change. Parents’ impulse to participate in their children’s public education is met with the aristocratic dismissiveness of a “let them eat tests” reply.
Our democratic system is predicated on response. When officials don’t respond sufficiently, constituents go to the ballot box. Elections settle arguments over competing ideologies. But in this argument, where are parents to go?