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East Haven, North Haven, and Wallingford Lawmaker Slams Common Core Guidelines

Fasano called on CT Gov. Malloy to remove his Education Commissioner.

Len Fasano
Len Fasano

In a press release, state Sen. Len Fasano, a Republican, criticizes Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, over the Common Core guidelines. 

"Yesterday Governor Dannel P. Malloy released the final report of the Common Core Implementation Task Force, as well as his Connecticut Core initiative to coincide with the report. State Senator Len Fasano (R-34), Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore, released the following statement regarding the report findings.

“The Common Core guidelines were adopted by the state Board of Education in July of 2010.  For the last four years, school leaders, teachers and parents have been vocal in their displeasure with the haphazard and disorganized roll out of the guidelines, and the curriculum that must adhere to the guidelines. This report, this initiative and the funding it promises come two years too late. The lack of leadership from this administration has resulted in a piecemeal implementation that has failed our educators and our students.”

“In his initiative, the governor is essentially asking a department, whose Commissioner lacks necessary teaching experience, to clean up the common core mess. This is a Commissioner who squandered the trust of educators, administrators and local leaders.  If the Governor is serious about assisting our schools in complying with the requirements of Common Core, he must replace his Commissioner.”

State Senator Len Fasano, Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore, represents the 34th District towns of Durham, East Haven, North Haven, Wallingford. For more information visit: www.senatorfasano.com.

Do you agree with the senator?

Dino June 28, 2014 at 09:34 AM
Peter is right on. I'm dismayed at the acceptance of the implied good intentions of this presidents policies when one after another of his policies, bills, agencies, appointees or his very words are exposed as being deceitful, wrong, corrupt, unconstitutional or outright criminal. They bank on the apathy and ignorance of a general population who are so preoccupied with sports and entertainment and enamored with celebrity that they believe whatever the charismatic man with a folksy way of talking is selling them; and most times, they're right! We are where we are because people don't see the link between academia, the news media and this crew in power. Epiphany is the only cure for liberalism. Wake the f$#& up!
Leslie Hann June 28, 2014 at 10:43 AM
I agree with Mr Fesano on removing the Commissioner. However I do not agree that will solve anything. If anything it will do more damage because the residents of Ct will go back to their couches, parties and soccer fields acting as if they accomplished something while the state puts the same type of commissioner in there just a different name. Back to business as usual. We need to get rid of Common Core. Anything but that is just lying to ourselves and deliberately doing an injustice to our children. I strongly for anyone to go to this link, find anything wrong Dr. Duke Pesta presents and then correct me. I have yet found anything that he is wrong about. The sad thing is, it doesn't take much effort or time to back up everything he says. This is a DIRECT CHALLENGE TO ANYONE WHO DEFENDS COMMON CORE! So go to this link and watch for yourself. That is if you think you are actually following or up to speed on the subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si-kx5-MKSE
Susan Harris June 28, 2014 at 10:05 PM
O.K. I took the challenge in essence because this is my 3rd go around with a CC blog where many responders reference these u-tube videos. Wanted to see what they were all about. The first thing that struck me about Pesta is his concern about education that in general began about 4 years ago as a college prof. and that he was addressing an audience just beginning to figure out what they perceived to be problems with the CC. I do not fit into this category. I became an outspoken opponent of OBE 25 years ago after devouring books and articles on the state of public education. I also homeschooled both our children at various times because of the dumbing down- 25 years ago. I then became a highly qualified history teacher in CT but retired after 6 years-fed up with state mandates that made teaching history nearly impossible. I now volunteer in an urban elementary school and can see first hand how the CC is positively impacting student achievement. So I have a different take. .....................................................There are many areas that I would debate with Pesta- although I only watched 25 minutes of a 2 1/2 hr. lecture- but lets start with his claim that the CC is OBE on steroids. If that is so than their standards must be alike. The reality is they are completely DIFFERENT. OBE and the related state tests, CMTs and the CAPT focused on "soft" skills like listening and communicating for language arts. Absent were" rigorous" Common Core literacy skills involving decoding- phonics-, frequency, vocabulary, comprehension in cause and effect relationships. Also absent in OBE but part of the CC are grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Here's the thing: If students would have been successful with OBE and their tests, we would not be having this debate about the CC. We would have kept what worked. But with 70% of our graduating high school students in the state needing remedial help in basic reading and math before being able to tackle college work it begs the question what went wrong with OBE? BTW- it was our state colleges that helped identified the problem and employers when many other high school graduates could not even fill out a job application form. .............................Our state was not alone. Most followed and collectively we have many students who are unprepared for college and the workforce. I would say we have a crisis brought about by low expectations. The failure of OBE has brought about the necessity of proven literacy standards for the teaching of English. For that reason the CC is the necessary correction. These standards are the antithesis of OBE standards. Most importantly I get to see how they positively affect students in the urban school where I volunteer.
Leslie Hann June 29, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Susan Harris, I would like to applaud you for home schooling your children and your dedication to helping our children learn. But I truly believe our educational system, nationwide, has become a philosophy not an education. First thing. You claim he has only been a University Professor for 4 years. In fact he has been one for 22 years. He has also taught at the high school level. I do not know why you would claim that when it is mentioned that fact n the first few minutes of the video and if you actually researched his Bio you would know that. That was my challenge. Actually look up things you believe to be false. I do have one question for you. It doesn't matter if you answer it or not because it is more of a statement than a question. If CC is supposed to be able to prepare students as well as it claims to meet the requirements to go into college, why are they changing the requirements to enter college to be more in line with Common Core ( CC)? That is a contradiction to one of the main selling points of CC. Second thing. You are correct that colleges, both public and private, have claimed students are not learning what they are supposed to be learning in the current and in the brief past. Instead of going back to what worked we have been chasing all these so called great ideas on how to educate our children. In the short run the children lose. In the long run we all do. Third thing. Yes this is a youtube video and by no means do I recommend you taking what he says as fact until you research each accusation or question he says. Again that was my challenge but you couldn't have if you only watched 1/4 of it. I have been following the education system for almost 23 years now as a parent and as a citizen. I went to town meetings, read what was coming up and tried my hardest to stay up with all the changes that were happening in the name of educating our children. In my opinion residents and parents are looked at as uninformed and should just be pacified. Do we deserve it, well that is another argument. What I witnessed was that our educational system was being used over and over again to implement so many things that didn't have anything to do with education. One quick example is Regionalism. That topic back in the day kept getting voted down in every shape and form. But somehow it got passed in the language with education. This is a general statement but that would be a whole days worth of discussion. The ending results are what we have today. Forth thing. I would like to say I agree with you on Outcome Based Education (OBE) and No Child Left Behind. You might not have mentioned No Child Left Behind but I did and I would guess you didn't like that either. I think we do not like the same things and want the exact same thing for our children, town, state, and nation when it comes to education. We just think it can be done in different ways. I would like to point out that in the video the Professor mentions gays and lesbians. My first time watching it I thought he shouldn't have mentioned that topic. Too me, again my first time watching it, the tone sounded more of a political or personal belief than factual. Although he has the right to believe or say what he wants, I just didn't think it should have been said during this venue. After the third time watching and writing down all of my study points to try and find out where he was wrong, it was clear to me it was more of a factual statements than anything else. The real question is should that be something taught in the schools? That too is for a different time or different debate.
Susan Harris June 30, 2014 at 06:29 PM
Leslie, Reread what I wrote. What I meant was that Pesta began to have concerns about public education as recently as 4 years ago actually it was 5 or 6. I understood he was a prof. for 20 plus years. There was a reason that I underscored this point with the fact that I had been concerned and doing research about education for a much longer period of time. Although he is a noted anti-CC speaker- I think he and others like him have put together their concerns and frustrations about public education haphazardly and drawn the wrong conclusions about the CC. I DO NOT THINK it is intentional on his part- I think he means well- but rather it's a lack of experience or wisdom or both in how public education really works. (Remember I've been devouring books on the subject for 25 years!) The starting point for any relevant discussion about public education are standards. The fact that he equates OBE and the CC similarly means he really doesn't understand the importance of how these standards differ. If you don't understand this you are likely to draw the wrong conclusion about the CC. That is why I spent the time in my last comment illustrating the differences between OBE and the CC reading standards. I will share with you a foundation that has been shedding light on the history of standards- based education for over 30 years- as well as a review of specific state standards. This Foundation goes back to Reagan's presidency. The Foundation is right of center like you and I - check out it's the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation and get a feel for what standards-based education is and why it's important to know and understand in the world of public education.

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