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Mar 3, 2015 2:54 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Zeldin Amendment Would Allow New York To Opt Out Of Common Core

Mar 3, 2015 4:18 PM

New York State could soon be able to roll back Common Core standards that many schools, parents and teachers have derided since they were implemented four years ago—without the fear of losing federal funding.

However, despite the negative feedback and the initial stumbling blocks, most superintendents on the South Fork are continuing to embrace the standards of Common Core, if not the way it was implemented, calling into question the move to repeal it by U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin.

Last week, Mr. Zeldin, a Republican from Shirley who represents the entire East End, introduced an amendment to an educational appropriations bill that would allow individual states, such as New York, to opt out of Common Core standards for K-12 education without losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid.

“When I was in the New York State Legislature, I introduced legislation where New York State would stop the implementation of Common Core, but the biggest criticism we got was that New York would lose federal funding if it did not adopt the standards,” Mr. Zeldin said during a phone interview on Monday. “This amendment simply says that any state that wants to withdraw from Common Core will not be penalized by the federal government as a result.”

Dubbed the “Zeldin Amendment,” the congressman’s proposal is one of 128 amendments made to the Student Success Act, which would fund various primary and secondary education programs from the 2016 fiscal year through the 2021 fiscal year. The bill is being considered by the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, which is, essentially, the entire House of Representatives but with a few different procedures than a simple House vote.

Mr. Zeldin proposed the amendment by himself and it was approved by the House Rules Committee. A vote has not been set on the Student Success Act.

On the campaign trail, during his successful bid to oust incumbent U.S. Representative Tim Bishop of Southampton, Mr. Zeldin, who now represents New York’s 1st Congressional District, frequently expressed his displeasure with Common Core.

When the State Legislature adopted Common Core in 2010, it did so in order to receive $700 million in federal funds for education through the Race To The Top program, which New York would not have qualified for otherwise.

“I believe that the decisions should be made from the state level and the federal government should not be penalizing a state for choosing how it wants to educate its children,” Mr. Zeldin said. “This would make it clear that there is no pot of money the federal government can use to penalize a state if they pursue a different set of standards.”

Even if the amendment passes, the decision about curriculum standards would have to come from Albany. The New York State Education Department declined to say how the passage of this amendment would impact its policy decisions.

“The department does not comment on pending legislation,” State Education Department spokeswoman Jeanne Beattie wrote in an email.

While representatives of local school districts still feel the new standards were forced upon them too quickly, most are not looking for an outright repeal as much as a reining in.

“I don’t necessarily have a problem with the Common Core standards, but I don’t think the implementation has been appropriate,” Southampton School District Superintendent Scott Farina said this week. “How quickly the new assessments were implemented, the change in the proficiency levels in one year—I think that was frustrating.”

Westhampton Beach School District Superintendent Michael Radday said he also thinks the roll-out was handled poorly, adding that he would have preferred that it had been phased in grade by grade rather than in one fell swoop. Still, Mr. Radday said he would not support getting rid of the standards.

“I believe the best course of action would be to continue with the Common Core standards, but to slow the implementation and administration of the new assessments,” he wrote in an email. “To undertake another fundamental change at this point would be counterproductive.”

East Hampton Schools Superintendent Richard Burns said his district remains committed to the Common Core standards, but he would like the State Department of Education to provide more guidance through its Student Learning Objectives program.

“High-quality instruction delivered by well-supported teachers is the best way to achieve meaningful gains in student achievement,” Mr. Burns wrote in an email. “The discussions with teachers about making the shift to Common Core are lively and robust and improve the quality of education our children are receiving.”

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Another solution in search of a problem...
By bird (824), Southampton on Mar 3, 15 4:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
Yes, by all means roll back Common Core, because why would we want to set the bar high for our children's education? Let's go back to failing to educate our children in math and science, who needs math and science? Did Zeldin cash his donation check from the teacher's union yet??????
By New Guy in Town (10), Westhampton on Mar 3, 15 5:11 PM
I take it you have no children in school. Talk to a teacher or a parent who does. Common core is a joke
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Mar 3, 15 6:20 PM
I have two kids in school. The work they bring home is more interesting and challenging than in years past. Yes it's harder for children, parents and teachers.
But let's not take the easy way out and return to a system that ill prepares kids for the real world.
By harbor (411), East Hampton on Mar 3, 15 6:46 PM
1 member liked this comment
I have children in middle school and it's working out fine with us.
By Justsay'n (42), Southampton on Mar 3, 15 7:54 PM
Read a few articles on common core and you may change your mind. All Zeldin is saying is why should schools get tax payer money only if the use common core? No wonder districts use it. They follow the money. Give them a choice.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Mar 3, 15 10:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
As a matter of fact I have two in school and I see their homework every night. Common core is designed to better teach our kids math, science and critical thinking. Sorry I can't find fault with that....
By New Guy in Town (10), Westhampton on Mar 3, 15 11:16 PM
1 member liked this comment
Google or you tube "problems with common core". i have two in school as well, come from a family of teachers, personally know many teachers, and am college educated. Common core was designed by a bunch of test takers and administrators NOT teachers. It doesn't teach common sense. Why are only schools who adopt common core eligible for federal relief? This isn't the gestapo is it?
I strongly disagree with you on this.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Mar 4, 15 6:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
The reason we now have Common Core is because of disastrous education results with a few exceptions on the East End. Many of the curricula have been precisely ones established by the local teachers, faculty, and the local school Boards ignoring best practices in the country and the world.

This "local control" canard without benchmarking the curriculum with the best has resulted in sickening test scores of East End schools that you seem to be proud of. This "local" flavor has resulted breeds ...more
By Obbservant (446), southampton on Mar 4, 15 9:13 AM
1 member liked this comment
The demographics of the east end have also changed. education begins fist and foremost in the home and with the childrens caregivers. What would you rather have: Fake freedom where others chose your end goal and end product or geniune freedom where you pick your goals, how to acheieve them and you are responsible for the results. With common core no one can pick the latter, because our overlords have already picked for us. Its been forced upon us.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Mar 4, 15 10:19 AM
1 member liked this comment
Sure forget common core let us continue the graduation of students who need remedial help in college. The teachers don't like common core, because it shows the lack of education kids have been receiving for years. We have let teachers, and faculty set education curriculum for years, and they have failed.
By chief1 (2786), southampton on Mar 4, 15 7:37 AM
First off the Student Success Act H.R.5 would use the states to execute federal intrusion. "The state educational agency shall designate an ombudsman to monitor and enforce the requirements". This means govt reps in people's homes and in private schools. Zeldin has stated that he plans on voting for H.R.5. Because of his position he took a major beating as seen on Twitter from the people that helped him get elected, so he came up with this amendment. The anti-cc people are not that easily fooled. ...more
By April1 (156), Southampton on Mar 4, 15 9:02 AM
I was wondering how long until a hash tag appeared on 27east. Your kids should grow up well adjusted. Kids need to learn that they need to play the game to get ahead sometimes. If you want your kid to learn how to teach time, buy them a clock and spend less time with the ipad at school board meetings.
By GG Alin (11), Southampton on Mar 4, 15 9:13 AM
Common Core was created by a select group of for-profit educational companies along with the Gates Foundation. It is not the solution to our education issues. It is, at best, misguided, and at worst, driven by profit motives of the creators. America's greatest export is creativity. China has changed its curricula in order to foster greater creativity in its schools. http://business.time.com/2013/06/27/china-just-as-desperate-for-education-reform-as-the-u-s/
By ElizabethBernbaum (1), on Mar 4, 15 9:05 AM
2 members liked this comment
Common core may work for some kids. I know a teacher working in a low income, run down school district...the parents aren't well educated, so the common core actually does help the kids. However, it doesn't work everyone. 2+2=4 there is no reason to make that take up two sheets of paper. In my experience common core is awful. We have so many problems with it. One nights homework took three adults to figure out, two with college educations. I'm glad Zeldin is doing this. School should be able to ...more
By Polandspring (96), Southampton on Mar 4, 15 4:57 PM
Common Core was initiated as a bipartisan, non-political Republican/ Democratic Party national effort in the mid to late 80s during Reagan's time resulting from a very troubling quantifiable decline in educational performance of America, especially compared to other developed countries. Over time, it has gotten quantifiably worse.

A lot of the comments here reflect very partisan Conservative views invoking empty words like "Freedom", "choice" and those usual partisan buzzwords that ...more
By Obbservant (446), southampton on Mar 4, 15 9:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
If the only thing you have to go on is tests schools on how to rate a school then you will have to look long and hard for a "good" school. The tests are rigged so that the students will fail. 30% pass rate 2 yrs ago, slightly higher last year. The cut score changes yr to yr, directed by Albany. BTW only 15% of the test questions are CC aligned. Yes CC was backed with bipartisan leaders payed for by Bill Gates. Not to mention all the data being collected on the children and their families. ...more
By April1 (156), Southampton on Mar 5, 15 9:03 AM
Nobody ever said that the only thing important about a good school is its test scores; it is nothing but a fallacious "straw man argument". Of course there are other things, but good test scores are a minimum. Try getting your kid to Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, or Penn with SAT scores as horrible as the state test scores most East End public schools get and it will be an exercise of laughable self delusion.

Most informed education experts and reformers for the past 35 years have been ...more
By Obbservant (446), southampton on Mar 5, 15 11:26 AM
You are placing importance on a rigged system. Common core will not fix anything. You should be questioning why two people on the CC validation committee refused to sign off on the standards and have been very vocal as to why they refused to sign. Who else will you start quoting the Broad Foundation too? All these foundations bribing school districts to reform. Why don't you look at what the states agenda is and see how all of this is falling into place? They want schools to fail academically ...more
By April1 (156), Southampton on Mar 5, 15 12:38 PM
The top schools of this country are filled with foreigners, and Asians, because they follow common core, and like learning programs. We as American's love to give our kids a false sense of accomplishment so we make believe we don't need things like common core. I'll be damned if I will let some big mouth mother or father of a student set education protocol for my children.
By chief1 (2786), southampton on Mar 10, 15 2:54 PM
1 member liked this comment
Same old arguments... Common core is no fix.
I have 2 kids that were enthusiastic about education, and now CC has made them hate school. Some argue that it's because CC is more challenging. I argue that it's plain awful. Any idiot can pile more work on kids. The real trick is to have them focused, enthusiastic, and understanding concepts. Are we seeing those results with CC? Are we? I'm not.
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Mar 12, 15 3:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
That "like" is an error. CC has not made your kids hate school. Negativity from their parents and some teachers may have. Kids like things that they can do without any effort; working harder to understand more may not be as pleasant for them but will certainly benefit them in the long run.

There are no participation awards in real life and kids need to learn this. A teacher giving all A's may please the kids and massage the egos of the parents but masks the reality that their work is ...more
By VOS (1230), WHB on Mar 12, 15 3:43 PM
Very well said, VOS. I have found that the rabid opponents of Common Core largely fall into 5 categories:
1)Conservative ideologues who ratchet up the empty rhetoric of "Freedom", "Choice", "local control", "freedom from state imposition of anything" regardless of the obvious disastrous results that obtain from such practice on the East End.
2)Teachers unions and their members who have pretty much succeeded in avoiding any kind of accountability for the horrible East End public school results.
3)Those ...more
By Obbservant (446), southampton on Mar 12, 15 8:57 PM
How about those who like cake? I'd also include those who eat worms and those who think the moon is made of cheese. And lastly, those of us who sit with their kids everyday and recognize the difference between challenging and nonsense. CC has it's merits, but it also has so much fat attached that I want to tell my kids, "learn this part if you want a good job, and learn this part if want to learn how to turn a 2 step process into a 10 step process. Then you can work for the government."
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Mar 12, 15 9:17 PM
Vos, you paint with a mighty broad brush. People are questioning curriculum. They have the right to do so. The rest of your post reads like a soapbox lecture. "You need to" "put your ego aside" "negativity from parents"
What complete nonsense. You don't know what goes on in your neighbors homes any more than they do yours. Questioning cc does not by default make you an enabler to mediocrity. You do understand that, right?
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Mar 12, 15 9:36 PM
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