Standards need patience

Given that concerned parents packed the HFM-BOCES campus at a recent event to get information about the Common Core, clearly there are still concerns about the new educational standards.

While some parents noted the difficulty their children are having meeting the new standards, we encourage everyone to have patience. Overall, the higher standards seem worthwhile.

In July 2010, the state Board of Regents adopted Common Core standards for mathematics, English language arts, literacy in history and social studies, science and technical subjects. Local districts have implemented the standards, which are supposed to increase the rigor of school curricula to better prepare students for college and careers.

For years, people had complained students were graduating from high school unprepared for work or college.

At the recent Common Core Fair at the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services, Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger said 70 percent of new college students who come to FM have to take at least one remedial course – which primarily is math – and 40 percent of new students have to take at least two remedial courses.

Clearly, that’s a major problem – and it’s something the entire education system has to address. No one school district or group of students needed help – the education system across the nation had to be considered to confront the problem.

Though higher standards may make life more difficult for students now, in the long run students should find themselves better prepared to handle work or higher education.

However, we remind local educators they must listen to parents’ concerns.

The recent Common Core Fair included only a short question-and-answer period led by HFM BOCES Superintendent Patrick Michel. Many parents had questions they never got to ask.

Some local school districts are planning their own Common Core events to give parents more information. The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, for example, will host an event for parents who have children in kindergarten through fifth grade Tuesday.

School administrators and teachers should allot plenty of time for questions at these events. Leaving scared parents with unanswered questions will only make it harder for teachers to do their job.