Local Catholic schools discuss common core standards

ALBANY, NY (NEWS 10) – The ABCs of Common Core have been a hot button issue for a few years. Now the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is taking a step back to focus on their students.

“I do not believe that these tests are an accurate reflection of a students aptitude or a teachers ability,” Laura Hosey, the mother of sons in fifth and eighth grade said. “The tests are tricky and confusing and the results come far too late to be useful during the school year.”

On Friday, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger announced that the elementary and middle schools in the region will shift away from Common Core testing and focus on their students, rather than test results.

“Beginning next spring, our schools will participate in the NYS assessments in grades 3, 5 and 7, only,” Catholic School’s Superintendent Michael Pizzingillo told News 10.

That is a change from having students in grades three through eight take them. But how will the schools continue to meet testing standards?

“To meet the objective of having the test do what it is intended to do,” Pizzingrillo said. “The Diocese of Albany Catholic Schools will administer the Iowa Assessments.”

Those tests will be administered in November for all students in grades three through eight.

“This multiple choice test will have sub-tests in the areas of mathematics and ELA,” Pizzingrillo told News 10. “Our teachers will have score reports within two weeks of the students taking the tests.”

The results from those tests will be used as a way to track student progress over a number of years, rather than annual evaluations of student performance.

Students in grades four and six will also take the cognitive abilities test.

These decisions are a way for the Catholic Schools to maintain their high academic standards, while keeping their focus on the children instead of the test results.

Bishop Scharfenberger tells News 10 that long before Common Core testing, the Catholic Schools have had a reputation for having a good education system.

“There’s a reason for that, too. Because our model has always been our own common core, which we’ve always followed throughout has been to focus on the child,” Scharfenberger tells News 10. “Our focus on education is totally child centered, but because we believe that parents are the primary educators of their children, we see ourselves as a cooperative effort with parents.”

Even though they are pulling away, they still expect to maintain their high educational standards.

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