ALBANY, N.Y. -- Dozens of students from across the state made the choice to not go to school Monday, instead joining their parents in a nationwide protest against common core.
Parents and students from across New York took over the steps of the State Education Department in hopes of a change. They say Common Core curriculum is rotten to the core because it kills curiosity and that students are more than just a test score.
"Homework is a battle always. He's got lengthy math problems that I honestly can't do and it's about a five step process to do simple addition and subtraction," says one concerned parent.
Sofia Randazzo of Frankfort New York says "I am not common. I do not support the common core. I am unique." Randazzo is one of the kids from across the state who gathered outside the Education Department in a nationwide protest.
While parents have spoken out against Common Core, the voices of the kids were heard. Eric Schauffler, a 7th grader from Garrison says it was his decision to skip school on Monday.
"I could've gone to school if I wanted to," said Schauffler, "but you know what, I decided to come up to Albany and protest."
The 13-year-old says he wants those implementing the standards to understand why he and his fellow classmates feel they are being set up to fail.
"They should just step into our shoes because they don't know what it's like for us…it's all work there's no break time," continued Schauffler, "There's no extracurricular activities like projects and stuff it's just all sticking to the packets and sheets and notebooks that's it there's nothing else."
Traci LaValle, a Fishkill 9th grader echoed Schauffler's remarks, "it's very structured. There's not a lot of deviance for like actual learning just a forcing of information."
Randazzo says the Common Core doesn't allow students a chance to go over a certain topic in order to learn it better. "If the class or a few kids don't understand something," she said, "we can't really go over it because we just have so much to do and so much to learn about the common core and you know test prep."
When asked about the issue, Governor Cuomo said "it is something that might be the subject of legislative changes next year." However, for now, the State Education Department says it will continue to seek public input and make changes but its committed to the implementation of the Common Core.
On Monday night at 6:30 p.m. at the SED, there will be a session where parents can get information about the curriculum.
According to the state, the Common Core Standards initiative is to provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. But many parents say that is not the case.
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