Common Core concerns expressed by teachers, parents and community

By Kelly McCarthy

November 25, 2013 Updated Nov 25, 2013 at 8:55 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The flurry of questions and concerns from parents, teachers, and anyone involved in education came as soon as the Common Core standards were released this school year.

Whether they like it or not, Common Core is a term New York State parents and teachers must come to accept. But just as the new education standards are rising, so are the questions and concerns.

"What's the evidence that backs up that common core is going to work?" asked Rene Carpenter, teacher at Maine Memorial Elementary. "I just kind of wanted to know what their thought process was on that."

At a forum in Vestal, questions directed to the state education commissioner and board of regents members ranged from state funding to how students with learning disabilities will be treated in the classroom.

"I'm just really concerned about people with different learning styles," said Chenango Valley parent Casey Calvey, "And how does it allow for that?"

Calvey worries the new standards will force students with special needs to be separated from the class in order to understand the material.

"So it sounds like it's under consideration," Calvey said, "But I don't know if it really is going to answer the question."

One of the more repeated concerns was with the suggested learning modules on the Engage NY website. Teachers and superintendents said there's too much material in the curriculum modules.

"It's just not feasible to teach those modules within the time limit they have in class," said Windsor Superintendent Jason Andrews. "So they're having to make decisions about what part from the modules to cut and to replace."

Audience members wrote down their questions before the forum and they were pre-selected by WSKG. Time ran out before everyone had the chance to ask their questions.

"In all honesty, I don't necessarily know as if I got a clear and concise answer," Carpenter said, "But I think it's a tough question."

Tough questions about whether the common core will make success common for students across New York.