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Assemblyman Poised To Introduce Common Core Repeal Bill

Assemblyman Al Graf joined by 24 other state lawmakers in writing bill that would withdraw New York from the Common Core Curriculum and national Race To The Top initiative.

On Tuesday morning, New York State Assemblyman Al Graf's Holbrook office will be headquarters for a press event introducing a bill that would withdraw New York public schools from its involvement in the Common Core Curriculum.

The bill, numbered A07994, would also withdraw New York from the national Race to the Top initiative, which many critics say is the backbone of the Common Core, a recently adopted set of national educational standards that not only address student learning objectives, but institute curriculum guidelines. 

Sparked initially by the Facebook group "Parents and Teachers Against the Common Core," Tuesday's press conference will feature local parents, such as Sara Wottawa, a Sachem parent and administrator of the Facebook group, and Assemblyman Graf's aide Doug Smith, also a Sachem alum. Smith will be speaking on behalf of Assemblyman Graf, who is finishing out the last few days of legislative sessions in Albany. Parents and Teachers Against the Common Core has more than 2,200 followers and the group's administrators were personally involved in drafting the new proposed legislation being introduced.

"If you're a teacher you’re going to support this bill, if you’re a parent, you’re gonna support this bill. If you're a concerned citizen you’re gonna support this bill," said Jeanine Cozzetti, another administrator of the Facebook page. "The press conference is going to be straight from the horse's mouth on why we need to withdraw from Common Core and Race to the Top. It’s not just standards, it’s not just a test, it’s not just data-mining."

Cozzetti said she initially got interested in the latest education reforms when she learned about "Opting Out" of standardized tests. While she admitted she was skeptical of opting out at first, her research led her to this fight against the Common Core. Some of the issues with the Common Core is the idea that a nationalized standard removes control over content from local districts, the standards' "one size fits all" approach to learning and the cost to local districts in instituting Common Core, among others. 

Now that fight has been put to ink and co-signed by 24 other state lawmakers in the Assembly, including Andrew Garbarino (Bayport) and Andrew Raia (Northport). For Cozzetti and the group, the challenge now is to get an identical bill drafted for the Senate. To that end, they have organized a blitz campaign pushing Senators Lee Zeldin and Phil Boyle to lead the charge.

Whether or not the bill can pass in either house and get signed by Governor Cuomo remains a matter of confident hope for Cozzetti.

"My goal has been to draft a bill and a lot of people have said it’ll never be done in New York," Cozzetti said. "But I have to be on the 'We The People" side. I believe we can do it, because we have driven parents and driven teachers." 

Patch will cover the press conference on Tuesday with photos, interviews and video clips of the event. 

Mary S. June 17, 2013 at 08:29 PM
How come everyone is always dumping on teachers and their salaries and perks, but I haven't seen any outcry by what Suffok County Police make, or the pensions of state, county and town workers. Don't you reallize that as taxpayers we are also paying for their salaries and benefits? I think people pick on the reachers because it is the only thing we can vote on, so we take our frustrations out on them. I don't begrudge anyone for what the make, all of us would take the same deal if that was the path we chose, but remember next time you see the town, or county worker waving the flag directing traffic while they repair roads, remember we're paying there salary and all goes with it.
Randy R. June 18, 2013 at 01:36 AM
This reeks of misinformation. The main complaints about the CCC are all about how standardization is bad and that teachers will have no control over what kids learn - both are completely untrue. This doesn't need to affect how the kids are taught, it just says that they need to be taught certain things. They're saying you need to learn certain skills in various subjects that would end up being taught anyway in preparation for the NYS required exams. There will be some standardized tests that the kids will take, but how they are prepared will be up to the teacher. The important part is that this set of standards is not meant for states like NY that already have rigorous curriculums, in fact they won't likely change all that much - it's really meant for underachieving schools (many which are located in the south and midwest). These students may score better and look better on paper than our NY students, but their curriculums are a joke compared to places like NY and MA. With these new standards, the quality of education on a national level will rise. If NY doesn't stick with this, I wouldn't say that our students would "fall behind" but they would not be in nearly as advantageous a position as they are now. As a parent, student, teacher, mentor, or a manager it would be wise to support the CCC and give our kids every possible opportunity to excel and succeed.
Voice Of Reason June 18, 2013 at 03:19 PM
CCC is simply a way for Cuomo to build is war chest (thanks to Pearson) for his run at the Presidency. If you wish to embrace the common core then why not just name the CEO of Pearson the Czar of Education in the United States and be done with it. John King has pretty much done that here in NY.

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