04/24/15 6:00am
04/24/2015 6:00 AM

To the editor:

Superintendent Gamberg’s outspoken efforts against the current New York State tests have helped highlight what is wrong with the current state of education. I am certainly no fan of standardized tests and applaud efforts to fight for better solutions. I do take issue with the idea that the proposed action is simply to “opt out.” (more…)

04/21/15 12:00pm

A mere four years ago, and for decades prior, one could not find any substantial evidence of students opting-out of standardized testing. At first glance, the current, heated, conflict over state testing and the “opt-out” movement appears to be a dispute between those who believe in and those who dispute the value of state tests. But this conflict goes deeper. It is a conflict about what is good for children and adolescents, about how children learn and thrive, and about how to raise young people to enter into and contribute to their communities as mature members of a democratic society.  (more…)

04/11/15 8:00am
04/11/2015 8:00 AM

As a seasoned educator, I strongly believe that well-designed tests are a valuable educational tool. When used properly, tests provide timely feedback about student progress. Rather than adding to the diagnostic value of tests, however, the NYS Common Core assessments are used solely to rank students, evaluate teachers and label schools as “failing,” slating them for takeover by privately run charters. (more…)

04/05/15 10:00am
04/05/2015 10:00 AM

Much has been said of late concerning Common Core and its effect on the education of our children, particularly with regard to testing and evaluation. And while I agree with the criticism that the implementation of the curriculum has been unwieldy and uneven, I understand the vision and intent of the Common Core standards.  (more…)

03/23/15 12:00pm
03/23/2015 12:00 PM

No doubt you have heard the news that public education is in need of reform. Gov. Cuomo has said so. Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown has said so. Even President Obama has said so. And what do all these people have in common? Well, a few things. None of them has taught students a day in their life. All of them have received pay or political contributions from the charter school movement and/or testing companies and all of them have wholly endorsed more charter schools.  (more…)

03/19/15 10:00am
03/19/2015 10:00 AM
Greenport School District Superintendent David Gamberg, right, at Monday's school board meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Greenport School District Superintendent David Gamberg, right, at Monday’s school board meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The superintendent of the Greenport and Southold school districts has issued a letter to parents outlining what they’ll need to do if they don’t want their children to take this year’s state assessments.

During the Greenport school board’s Monday night meeting, Superintendent David Gamberg said the letter aims to better organize and streamline paperwork for students refusing the test, a movement known as “opting out.”

Although he’s still working out details with administrators about what happens to students who refuse to take the exams on test days, Mr. Gamberg said students won’t be forced to “sit and stare,” which occurs when students who are not taking a test are made to just stare at a desk while the test is administered to others, rather than being allowed to read a book or move to another classroom.

(more…)

03/17/15 6:00am
03/17/2015 6:00 AM
Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) is a House Foreign Affairs Committee member. (Courtesy file photo)

Congressman Lee Zeldin is a House Foreign Affairs Committee member. (Courtesy file photo)

Freshman Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) has had a good few weeks.

We’ll hold our fire — for now — about his joining forces with reactionary U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, spouting conspiracy theories about American foreign policy.

But we commend him for supporting local educators fighting the Common Core system by introducing legislation and also for standing with opponents of ear-splitting helicopter traffic over the East End.

Mr. Zeldin has weighed in on Common Core by writing an amendment to an education bill that ensures school districts won’t be penalized by a denial of federal funds if they opt out of using the “teach the test”-heavy form of education overhaul.

While you’d be hard-pressed to find many people who are against challenging our students to rely less on memorization when it comes to math -— or think more critically when it comes to English — the sweeping, comprehensive rollout of the Common Core standards itself has been a disaster.

Mr. Zeldin is correct in seeking to allow districts to bail on Common Core as it stands. (more…)