Parents, Educators Discuss Common Core in West Seneca

February 4, 2014 Updated Feb 5, 2014 at 12:26 AM EDT

By WKBW News

February 4, 2014 Updated Feb 5, 2014 at 12:26 AM EDT

West Seneca, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) "To us and to me particularly, it's as though they put the cart before the horse, said Dr. Mark Crawford, Superintendent of West Seneca Central School District.

"They're being tested on curriculum that they have not been taught, teachers' creativity is being taken away. They're being forced to follow a very strict module," said JoAnne Janowski, one of the parents who organized a forum on Common Core testing held at West Seneca East High School.

Shared concern among many of the panelists on Tuesday included the belief that Common Core narrows the curriculum, reduces opportunities for creativity and does not adequately address the multiple intelligences of children.

The high stakes nature of the exams also raised red flags. Not just for students, but for teachers too. Panelists said 40% of a teacher's evaluation is based on student test scores.

"It's too high stakes for a teacher's evaluation to be based on one snap shot in time," said Janowski.

Among the facts and figures shared was that in August, nearly 70% of students statewide failed the Common Core exams.

In his budget address last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he supports Common Core but does not believe that it was implemented correctly.

He plans to create a panel of experts to review the program.