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Students in math class. Photo: <a href="">woodleywonderworks</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.
Students in math class. Photo: woodleywonderworks, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

Why Common Core is having a rocky start

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New York's hasty implementation of the Common Core curriculum has become a lightning rod for criticism statewide. Tomorrow state education commissioner John King is holding public meetings to address teachers' and parents' concerns in Schroon Lake and Plattsburgh.

Steve Todd has been visiting classrooms across St. Lawrence county to see firsthand the stumbles and successes of the new curriculum. Todd is assistant superintendent of instruction for St. Lawrence & Lewis BOCES.

He told David Sommerstein he's seen teachers and students alike "rolling up their sleeves" to get used to more rigorous classwork and more homework.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

Todd believes Common Core will pay off in the long run. But he says because New York had to implement the curriculum in a rush to win a big federal grant, few schools and few teachers were ready.

For example, Todd says, students are studying new and better ways to learn math and reading. But many parents aren't getting the message. "The instructions on the assignment sheet may not communicate what it is the teacher is hoping for the student to be working on," says Todd. "The student asks the parent for help and the parent is at a loss because they say, oh golly, this is different from what I've seen. That'll get easier with time, and I think much of this, in my book, I would chalk up to the speed of the implementation, and that's one piece of the process that is still a work in progress."

Listen to David Sommerstein's entire interview with Steve Todd about what the Common Core is, how it works, and why it's been painful for many schools to implement.

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