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Local Parents, School Officials Welcome Change to Common Core

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By Kerry Longobucco.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) will deliver his 2016 State of the State address Wednesday. Local parents and educators are looking forward to hearing Cuomo weigh in on what changes are coming to the controversial Common Core curriculum.

Christine Webb, of Chenango Forks, says her son has struggled with Common Core learning for years. She's anxious to hear whether governor cuomo will push for changes to the troubled system.

Last month, a commission appointed by the governor himself issued a highly critical report of common core -- specifically blasting the heavy emphasis on testing and teacher evaluations. The commission recommended that New York do away with current Common Core standards, and come up with new, state-specific standards.

Webb's son has a learning disability -- and says the restrictions and tests that come with Common Core have made school unbearable for him -- and she's hoping tomorrow, the governor will promise change.

"I hope that what he says, is that developmentally appropriate practices matter, that the way our children learn matter," Webb said. "The way that parents have an impact on our children's lives, and in our children's schools, matter, that our teachers are important."

One local superintendent says he wants to see the Legislature act on the changes by Governor Cuomo's latest task force on the Common Core.

That task force says common core aligned tests should not count for students or teachers until the start of 2019-2020 school year. It also recommended reducing the number of test days and test questions.

Jason Andrews heads the Windsor School District. He says the Legislature needs to turn the recommendations into law.

"The big priority would be in first of all separating school aid from teacher evaluation systems. I don't think that that really makes any sense. And then, of course, really not tying teacher evaluations to the student test scores, so that there's not such a heightened sensitivity to the student assessments," said Andrews.