EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – The Tuckahoe School District has put several new instructional programs in effect in response to New York Education Commissioner John King’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
Students in every grade will notice slight shifts in their curriculum in Tuckahoe, as the district continues to adjust to the new standards. This includes programs to aid students in both math and English Language Arts (ELA) assessments.
There will be a dozen educational shifts, six to aid both English and math scores for test preparedness. For the ELA, there will be new listening and learning programs that are taken from the state’s core knowledge, and additional modules derived from exploratory learning.
In math, new modules will be installed for middle and high school students, while students up to grade 5 will continue using the envisionMATH Common Core program.
“The demands are going to be more rigorous, with the goal in mind being college and career readiness,” Assistant Superintendent Carl Albano said.
To accommodate the new standards, Tuckahoe students will read more non-fiction materials, and will critically discuss pieces to increase vocabulary and improve retention. Students will be writing more non-fiction, and teachers will attempt to “teach them about the world through reading.”
In math, classes will go more in-depth on fewer topics. Skills and knowledge will be developed symbiotically across grades, and teachers will attempt to connect math problems to real life problems.
The implementation of the standards has been a cause of concern for school, local, county and state officials. Last week, Assembly members Amy Paulin (D-88th District), Thomas J. Abinanti (D-92nd) and David Buchwald (D-93rd) sent a letter to the state Board of Regents urging them to hold off on implementing the Common Core.
“No one is opposes the re-design of the curriculum. The common core isn’t being questioned,” Paulin said. “It’s just moving too fast. We need to slow down and get our feet back under us.”
When he assumed his position as Superintendent of Eastchester Schools in July, Walter Moran said that they are facing an unprecedented challenge with the implementation of the Common Core standards.
“(Test scores) provide an opportunity to better align our curricula and teaching to meet the rigors of the Common Core Standards and Assessments,” he said. “Establishing new baseline measurement of student learning helps us recognize the magnitude of challenge we face in preparing all students to be successful in college and careers.”
At a public forum held in Port Chester on Monday, King said that the state is steadfast and determined to make the Common Core standards work.
"We will make adjustments, but I don't want to leave any confusion about our commitment to our work on the Common Core moving forward, ensuring that we work with government and legislators to make sure the resources are there for all districts to reach those higher expectations, and to work on teacher and principal evaluations."