Tuesday, November 26, 2013

PJSTA's Dimino Responds to Times' Bruni's on Common Core and "Coddling" Charge

New York Times food critic Frank Bruni in a recent column dismissed parental concerns over the Common Core State Standards (recently re-dubbed Common Core national standards) are premature and represent a coddling attitude toward school children. Bruni's attitudes echo New York City's outgoing mayor Michael Bloomberg, who compared Common Core tests to any kind of test-like challenge one faces in life. Port Jefferson Station Teacher Association President Beth Dimino made blog headlines for her searing critique of John King, making the case that he was aiding and abetting child abuse upon New York State schoolchildren. One Long Island therapist has testified that her business has boomed thanks to trauma from the state-imposed Common Core curriculum and standardized testing.

The Sayville Patch published Dimino's letter lambasting Bruni's ill-informed comments:
Mr. Bruni,

It comes as no surprise to me that as a food critic you believe that you are uniquely qualified to comment on the ramifications of the high stakes testing portion of the Common Core on NY's children.

You're not a parent or an educator and you weren't at the forum where I spoke, but you believed that you could write an informed article for the NY Times and insert my speech without bothering to ask me why I made the comments or to familiarize yourself with the topic.

It seems like so many intelligent people, even NY Times writers, just don't get it or is it that you don't want to get it... Teachers give students tests to evaluate what the child has learned and to better inform themselves about their pedagogy.

These tests are not administered for those reasons... Are you aware that the students who are tested in the spring do not receive their grades until the fall? Did you know that Commissioner King created a test that he accurately predicted 70% of the State's children would fail? Does it matter to you that children as young as 4 years old are required to take these tests? I have some suggestions for you Mr. Bruni. 

Buy and Read Diane Ravitch's book, Reign of Error, if you want a different perspective about American Public Education. Investigate why more than half of the States are now reevaluating whether or not to withdraw from Race To The Top. Contact me if you would like to know what's really going in a NY public school classroom.

Count your lucky stars that your English teachers prepared you for your NY Times gig!