Communicating with One Voice on the Common Core

Teachers and Administrators in the Saranac Lake Central School District have joined forces to create a mechanism for various stakeholders to get together to re-envision education.. Teachers Union Representative Don Carlisto is one of the committee members..  He says one issue they’re dealing with is the lack of familiarity and the lack of understating of what the new common core teaching standards are trying to achieve and what they represent for students..  At a recent School Board Meeting, Superintendent Diane Fox said her goal is to offer a common set of tools.. but she says, they’re not dictating what teachers are using, “We’re not dictating what they’re using specifically but rather offering a set of district guidelines”

Carlisto added that while the Saranac Lake Central School Board is working closely with teachers to assure success for students, it’s not all hearts and flowers when it comes to implementation of state dictated standards.. One opportunity according to the committee is for educators to determine what’s best for students to learn and then to develop standards that are more in line with the needs of students and teachers..

AUDIO – 011314 – Consensus Building in Saranac Lake

Right now, Carlisto says, “Teachers are being asked to “Comply” as opposed to being given an opportunity to “Buy Into” the process, meeting them halfway and inviting them to engage in the process collaboratively.”  In addition, the process appears centralized to a very few people deciding on education reform..

The Saranac Lake Central School Board is one of a few around the state and a group of districts in the North Country that have openly called for review and reform of the Common Core Standards in teaching and is working with teachers to present a unified voice where possible to the state board of education.. Whether they will listen is another story..

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