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Standardized Test Forum Held

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The North Country Alliance for Public Education recently hosted a forum on standardized tests on the Plattsburgh State campus to discuss the controversial Common Core requirements and the impact of testing on students, teachers and parents. The forum was held just days ahead of state education Commissioner John King’s visit to Plattsburgh tonight.

It was standing room only in the largest lecture hall on the Plattsburgh State campus as teachers, parents and students came to hear about or express their opinion over New York’s standardized testing requirements. SUNY Plattsburgh Professor Of Education Doug Selwyn was an organizer of the “Our Children are More Than a Score” forum. He notes that the gathering was planned before Commissioner King and Common Core became a statewide focus. Selwyn says it coalesced due to building concerns over the Common Core, Race to the Top, increasing private corporate influence on public education, and how decisions regarding education are made.
The session began with comments from a seven-member panel led by 114th District Assembly woman Republican Janet Duprey. She says Common Core is a good concept that has been rushed through and poorly implemented.

SUNY Plattsburgh Associate Professor Mark Beatham, who specializes in adolescent education and visits local schools, says he is seeing a negative impact from standardized test mandates.

Among the panelists was Saranac High School student Sophia Stevens. The ninth-grader wrote a model test that mocks the actual New York State standardized test. It went viral on the web and was profiled in the Washington Post.

Doug Selwyn reports there is one particular irritant, which was reflected in many of the comments during the forum.

For over an hour, parents, teachers and students stepped up to vent their frustration, with few expressing support for Common Core.

New York State Education Commissioner John King is in Schroon Lake this afternoon.  This evening at 7:30, New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch will join King for a panel discussion on Common Core Standards in the studios of Mountain Lake Public television in Plattsburgh.

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