News10 in the Classroom: Understanding the common core standards

They were the test scores that showed just how not ready New York's kids are for college.

News10 reported weeks ago about standardized test results, based on the new common core teaching method and they were not good.

Only about 30 percent of kids are proficient in english language arts and math.

The Queensbury superintendent says his district usually aims for 90 percent proficiency. This year, their common core test results were much lower, between 29 and 56 percent proficiency.

“I will admit I was stunned,” says Dr. Douglas Huntley. “Even though I knew the scores were going to be low amd I knew there was going to be a big drop-off, to look at them, was stunning.”

Dr. Huntley says he compared his scores with other districts and they fell in line with the drop-off that many experienced.

He says the common core is a challenge for both teachers and students, especially when they're used to 90 percent proficiency

“90 percent is absolutely unrealistic today,” says Dr. Huntley. “Hopefully someday it will be, but we have to change our goals, we have to change our aspirations.”

Dr. Huntley says part of the challenge is teachers and students must teach and learn in new ways.

“To use math as an example, students have to be fairly strong readers in order to do math, because many of the math problems are reading problems. That's challenging, but it's important that that happens, because in college and in careers, you're not given simple questions that have simple right or wrong answers.”

“The common core provides students with a lot more rigor, a lot more writing, a lot more reading,” adds deputy superintendent Theresa Middleton.

Dr. Huntley and Middleton say they refuse to become bogged down by the numbers, rather recognize the need for improvement and know it will take time.

“We'll challenge students, but that level of accomplishment is not going to be realized for a while,” he says.

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