Parents, teachers form task force to take on Common Core


NEW HARTFORD, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Concerned parents and teachers in New Hartford are now forming a task force against the Common Core curriculum and on Tuesday night they told the Board of Education they're not done fighting.

It was an unusual sight at the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting. Normally, about five parents are present, but this time, the room was packed.

The night started with students accepting awards for arts, athletics and leadership. Parents with younger children want that same future for their kids, but fear it's at stake when they say:

"I really don't understand. I need your help." These were the words of Sue Niebuhr's daughter as she struggled with homework from the new curriculum. "I would explain and she would say, 'I still don't get it' and then she would get frustrated and the tears would come and she would say, 'I don't feel smart.'"

A parent and a teacher, Niebuhr witnesses these struggles in the classroom and at home.

"I never want my first graders- I never want any of my children to feel that way," she said.

So parents and teachers from every school in New Hartford are teaming up to take on the curriculum.

"We came here tonight to raise awareness. We wanted to be sure that the leaders of New Hartford Central schools, our administrators and our Board of Education members know parents and teachers are very serious about making this better for kids," said Jessica McNair, a New Hartford parent and teacher who helped start the task force with her husband.

The president of the New Hartford Teachers Association, Debbie Dowling, called on the Board of Education to join and presented a resolution unanimously passed by the association Tuesday.

"A moratorium on the reform agenda including high stakes testing, an across the board halt to the implementation of Common Core, a ban on the inappropriate sharing of student and teacher information, a ban on the use of state test scores to evaluate teachers," said Dowling.

As well as the resignation of New York State Education Commissioner John King. The crowd applauded and then quickly dispersed.

No word yet whether the Board of Education will join the task force.

The task force is holding their first meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 at the Senior High library in New Hartford. They're also encouraging other school districts to start up their own task forces.

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