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Letter: Don’t Keep Common Core Meetings Secret

I am a parent in the Jericho School District of an 8th grader and 2nd grader. I am very involved in the PTA in both the MS school and at the elementary level, as well as on the PTA counsel board of president’s at Jericho.

My questions to you are this:

1-Do you happen to know why so many of the common core held meetings are not posted anywhere easy  for people to know that they are being held? That unless you are on a social media site that is the only way to find out about meetings?

2-I recently went on Charles Lavine’s website and there is no posting of his meeting to be held in the Glen Cove Library on Dec. 11. I found out from a friend who went on Facebook.

3- That tonight’s meeting by Senator Martins, I was told as were many in my district, was closed to the general public, as well as closed to any in our administration—that we might get one ticket! Why is this?

4- That the only meeting I could attend was at SUNY Old Westbury a few weeks ago, which was held after school so many parents could not attend, as well as teachers who had to run over after work to be heard.

I find it odd that the politicians are having meetings that are closed door or ticketed or that only those people who are special are being told or let in. Then they wonder why, when one meeting is open to the public, they get crazed parents and public rage.

The public is not being informed in a properly timed fashion of when and  where these meetings are being held and who can come. By the time the public can get to go—or is lucky enough to get in—of course they are frustrated and upset! Then they come across as an angry mob. They wouldn’t be so angry if they were told what was going on and what can be done to help them understand the difference of Common Core, the state testing and the attachment of the APPR tests to all this.

If someone does not ask why this is so secretive and not transparent then, yes, parents will think there is something to hide! I guess it’s just that the politicians don’t believe what they are telling us.

I wonder how many of these politicians have opted out their own children or send their kids to private schools where they don’t have these tests. I bet many also don’t have any children who need extra time. I wonder if some of them have tutors for their children to do well on the tests.

It is very sad that this is going on. As in your article, the real issue is not Common Core, as no one knows if this is good or bad. It is about the test and the books that are not even printed yet. It’s about the way things are being handled. The way Commissioner King is digging in his heels, as well as some others who support this, makes it feel like we are all being sold a bridge and then told to jump off of it!

I wonder what would happen if the top schools on Long Island were able to have access to these meetings and talk about how they feel. At the SUNY Old Westbury meeting that took place, the assemblymen that were there to talk freely about Common Core were from good schools but no one from Jericho or Manhassett or Great Neck or the like were there that I saw.

Jericho schools and some that were represented are fortunate enough to have support for our students, to have educated our teachers as well as our schools can for the Common Core. There are other schools and children out there that need real help and support for their basic classes and not for a test and are not getting it. It’s very sad.

I wish someone would tell me why I can’t go to tonight’s meeting or tomorrow night’s meeting. I’m now waiting to see if I can get into Charles Lavine’s meeting, as it is being held in Glen Cove library. Will Jericho residents be invited and anyone who is in Charles Lavine’s district be invited? Or will we be told last minute only Glen Cove residents?

Maybe someone should ask why these meetings are held in secret or limited. What are they hiding? Is it as simple as they don’t want to hear that they made a mistake and learn from it, and makes changes to actually help our students and teachers? Or is this more local politics trickled down by the bigger government that they won’t make compromises in Congress or the Senate?

I thought that mistakes teach us what we can change, to make right and better. It seems that this Common Core and the testing is nothing more than “We are right and you are wrong.” There is no room for think tanks, for better ways to implement our new curriculum, to make our students—our future generation—a better and smarter one. Just do as you are told!

Gina Levy, Jericho