NYU Steinhardt Ed Policy Breakfast 2013
Breakfast and education converged for the third and final meeting of the academic year at the NYU Steinhardt Education Policy Breakfast Series, “Common Core Standards: Desired Outcomes and Potential Consequences”. The series had the same goal as it has had for the past 13 years: illuminate contemporary educational issues at both local and national levels. It brought together educators, researchers, heads of corporations, university faculty, school superintendents, leaders of foundations and advocacy organizations, as well as policy makers and legislators.
The guest speakers were Ramon Gonzalez, principal of MS 223: The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; James Cibulka, president of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and Okhee Lee, professor of childhood education at NYU Steinhardt.
Today we require much more education than in the past and the common core standards are very different from the past. According to Lee, the key is implementation, and the teachers have to encourage students to implement standards. She underscored that “we support all students.” In fact, as emphasized at the event, there is not a separate standard for students with disabilities: according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 13 percent of children and youth ages 3-21 received special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2009. In addition, Limited English Proficient (LEP) students have more than doubled from 5 percent in 1993 to 11 percent in 2007. Moreover, if we take a look at the student demographics in New York City, 16 percent received special education services in 2010.
The Common Core State Standards will affect students and teachers all over the country, in the 45 states that have adopted them. “I am a real believer in the common core,” said Weingarten. The standards have a special role because they can contribute to building a better education system in the future without doubt. Of course, to implement them is not easy, but they are important steps for students’ to become well-educated and lead successful lives. #