STOP Common Core in New York State 
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Cuomo's Common Core Task Force

We created this page to showcase all of the inspirational videos made during the recent Common Core Task Force sessions, but we also want to hear from those who didn’t have the opportunity to speak!
To our surprise, none of the public testimonies, either audio or video, were recorded by the Task Force.  So how can the Task Force make an informed decision when individual members only see a small segment of all the sessions?  How can they provide transparency to the entire Task Force and the larger public when this information is not made available?  How can they ensure that every voice and every issue is given the consideration it deserves?
The Task Force may not like these moments, but we certainly do.  It’s Stop Common Core Warriors at their best, defending our children, our teachers, and our schools.
We want to share the words of those warriors who were not recorded by friends, for they too have powerful messages we want to hear.  Let's not give the Task Force the opportunity to say, we didn't receive much input, so Common Core really isn’t a problem.
So, send us your WRITTEN views, remarks, speeches, and/or rants; WE WANT THEM ALL!  Please send your testimony with your name, town and county to and we will publish it here for all to see. 

It is not necessary to have attended a forum to submit a testimony, but please be sure that you also submit your remarks to the Task Force at the following website by November 30, 2015:
We want others to draw inspiration from your testimony, and we also want the Task Force members to know we have your words available for reference.  
We want your voice to be heard!!! 

Written Testimony
Alexa - 4th Grader

"I am in Fourth Grade. I don't like common core. I don't like that once I know a Math problem; we have to draw it after.  It makes it more complicated.  You have to draw an array to really answer the problem, even though you already know the answer.  That's how you get more points. I don't like that if the students get 1 or 2 wrong that the teacher gets in trouble for that.  It's junk. I don't like that we are only and always doing ELA and Math.  ONLY ELA and Math all day...."

Briana Bays - Clifton Park, Saratoga

"Good Afternoon, my name is Briana Bays. I have 3 school-aged children in the Shenendehowa school district I am an advocate for children, and a critic of Common Core.  I am here today to say that it is NOT an implementation problem, it is partially a testing problem, however, the bottom line is that the problem is Common Core. There is NO data to support Common Core and the claims of it being a higher set of standards..." READ MORE 
Christy Bezrutczyk - Plattsburgh, Clinton

"I have read and researched Common Core (CC) since 2010 and I have seen the impact of CC in my home since 2013.  As a mother, taxpayer and active community member, I have some very serious concerns surrounding CC and it's not as simple as an implementation problem or a standards and assessment problem.  I have traced the CC back to where it began and have the evidence that it was implemented through the National Governor's Association and Chief Council of Chief State School Officers without it even being fully developed...." READ MORE

Debbie Brandewiede

"Parents are not just outraged over the tests. We are outraged over the whole common core agenda which includes invasive data mining loss of local control, inferior untested standards as well as the secretive high stakes testing. Please do not patronize us by explaining how common core are high standards, we know they are not. Please do not insult us by using meaningless rhetoric such as "Preparing our children for the 21st century". We know this is simply another way of saying "hooking up your kids all day to be data-mined."...." READ MORE

Lisa Christiansen - Horseheads, Chemung

"Good evening. To start, I want you to know that I am a mother of 4 children ages 8 to 15.  I was here in Binghamton two years ago when our former Commissioner and members of the Board of Regents wanted to “hear” from us about our concerns with Common Core.  And yet, here we are again.  Nothing has changed, except that our children have lost another two years of a meaningful education, and our former Commissioner is now charged with overseeing ALL of the children in our country, not just here in New York State...." READ MORE

Bill Dermady

"Testimony at Syracuse, NY at OCC on November 10, 2015.  Good evening everyone, my name is Bill Dermady and I am a parent of 3 children and I have 6 grandchildren, 2 caught up in this Common Core nightmare, their names are Clayton who lives in Maryland and Madison who lives in Massachusetts and one soon to be, Madison's brother Liam. This Common Core nightmare must end immediately. Common Core means to me four things, high stakes testing, APPR, student data mining and the modules...." READ MORE
Valerie DiCaprio - Garden City, Nassau

"Thank you for the opportunity to speak this afternoon. I'm pleased to see such a large turnout despite the significant challenges of very short notice, an inconvenient time, and an out of the way location for a lot of people. Our presence here is a testament to our commitment.  I'm having a sense of deja vu.  Most of us have done this before and we are painfully aware that this "listening tour" is meant only to placate us.  Many of us were here when John King pretended to listen to us. We weren't soothed then, and we hardly expect to be soothed now.  The State Ed Department has a reputation for not listening...."  READ MORE  VIDEO

Deb Escobar - Town of Rotterdam, Schenectady

"I am a retired teacher, also a grandparent. I am an education activist, committed to ending the disastrous Common Core that threatens the future of our children. When I first began teaching, we helped students discover the joy of learning, so they would become lifelong learners. We kept in mind that the learning styles and development of children were different. Now all students are expected to learn at the same time and at the same pace...." READ ME
Danielle Elliott

"I am a mom. I have two amazing children.  But I’m not here to talk about me or my kiddos.  So, I am going to skip the pleasantries. Here are my observations and concerns regarding the common core.  **Bring back the lost NYS standards.  Bring them back why??  Because they are research based, educator written and amendable. The Common Core State Standards are a copyrighted experiment.   A man with less than two years of teaching experience crafted these standards.  A panel of largely non educators reviewed them.  They were adopted during a budget crisis and gift wrapped in 700 million RTTT dollars.  They are poorly scaffolded, and developmentally inappropriate...." READ MORE

Vincent Gleason - Auburn, Cayuga

"Since you guys took money to implement common core you have ruined my childs life.  My kids were happy and great in school until the first year of common core.  You guys should be ashamed of yourselves to take some cash to implement a broken system that clearly fails over 60% of its students.  I currently have two kids failing out of school who stay up all night doing homework because the standards are so crazy.  Less is more people.  Less is more.  Your system is terrible and I will be fighting it until the day you guys get smart and destroy it.  Thanks for failing my children to get a couple bucks in your pocket!"
Michael Hynes

"My name is Michael Hynes; I am the proud superintendent serving the schools for the Patchogue-Medford School District.  Thank you for the opportunity to speak.  On behalf of parents, my children of the Patchogue-Medford School District and my five children at home, I just want to go on the record by saying that Regent’s Reform Agenda needs to cease and desist...."  READ ME  VIDEO
Julie Judd - Williamsville, Erie

"The common core standards have numerous facets that are terribly wrong for our education in America. Our youngest students are expected to comprehend abstract math problems and think and reason in the abstract when in fact, they do not have this ability.  Children brains think in concrete, not in abstract reasoning.  I also feel that the middle school math is not sufficient in preparing our students for higher education...." READ ME
Lisa Kollmer - Saranac Lake, Essex

"Good evening. My name is Lisa Kollmer.  I am a parent of a kindergartener and third grader and I am also an educator.  I have witnessed how the Common Core affects my own children, and I have also administered State exams to special needs students.  Common core is hurting our children..." READ MORE

Christina Lichtenstein (Matthew) - Farmingdale, Nassau

"I attended two of John King’s forums three years ago, and I was shocked at the amount of people in attendance. As I listened to all the stories of children breaking down and needing therapy to be able to endure school, testing, and homework, I realized I wasn't fighting alone anymore.  I had been fighting my local school district the prior year because something was wrong with my son. He wasn't getting an education through his tears. It was there at those forums that I realized the nightmare I suffered in my home was an epidemic. Surely they'll stop it now. They have too...." READ ME  VIDEO
Teresa Luongo - Hopewell Junction, Dutchess

"Common Core is nothing but a cash cow. It is nothing but corporate interests behind this monster. Look at the standards, most of them we have already always been doing in schools, but now we have to pay for them? Common core makes a market, and sadly for us, it's working in many areas- siphoning more $away from the people and into the pockets of the uber-rich.  I hope more Americans wake up to the monopolization we are living under... if it's moving, but not a market, the elite types want it. Furthermore, my children’s education shouldn’t be crumbling because the country and big corporations well has run dry...." READ ME 

Elizabeth Lynch - Brentwood, Suffolk

"In an apparent attempt to polish his tarnished image and mitigate the damage caused by his pitiful record on education matters, New York Governor Cuomo has now convened a "Task Force" to review the Common Core Standards and to "listen" to his constituents - the stakeholders who should be dominating the conversations that are once again being co-opted by a handful of selected supporters of the governor's agenda..."  READ MORE

Gerald K. Masters - Geneva

"A little over four score and 7 years ago, our fathers brought forth to this nation a new public school system, conceived in local control, and dedicated to the proposition that all students are entitled to a public education. Now we are engaged in a great civil argument, testing whether our state, or any state, so conceived and so dedicated can long endure, free and strong. We are met here in a great forum to test those arguments.  We have come here to petition our government and redress the grievances to teaching and learning that the Common Core has accelerated. It is altogether fitting and proper that we do this...."  READ MORE

Mo Mulvey - East Fishkill, Dutchess

"Let me make this very easy for you. Common Core standards CANNOT be fixed. They need to be entirely replaced. My 7th grader has been struggling since first grade – six years of frustration, crying, battles, failures. He is not interested at all in school; he sees no reward for all of his efforts...."  READ MORE

Leslie Nicolette - Ilion, Hermiker

"Common Core Task Force at HCCC - My name is Leslie Nicolette and I have 3 children ages 21, 19, and 11.  About 3 1/2 years ago I started to realize that the education that my youngest was receiving was vastly different from that of my older 2.  So I began to question things and inform myself.  Years later I have learned that Governor Cuomo and NYSED do not care about our concerns or our children...." READ MORE

Angela Nolan - North Hudson, Essex

"You say you want feedback, Parents have been giving feedback for over three years. We have called, emailed, and gone to forums to meet with then Commissioner King, I think the over 200,000 test refusals should give you a clue that Common Core is not working. That is about the only way we, as parents can show our disapproval..."  READ MORE

Heather Fuller Palmasano - Clarence, Erie
"I do NOT have much to say to you people anymore. We have done THIS hundreds of times already. So this is what I have to say to you today. WE want FULL REPEAL and that's it!"
Michael Panessa - Rochester, Monroe

"Good afternoon, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to the task force and to be here with my fellow Western New Yorkers on behalf of children. My name is Mike Panessa. I'm a father of two school age children. We live in the Churchville Chili School District.
I am here today to speak about and challenge the assertion that common core standards are higher standards, in particular the English Standards. From my own experience and research as well as conversations with thousands of other parents across the state, I can find zero evidence that this claim is true."

Steve Paz - Sherrill, Oneida

"My name is Steve Paz.  I’m a Central NY parent and educator.  Thank you for providing me this opportunity to speak about the Common Core this evening. New Yorkers have lost faith in the State Education Department’s ability to act in the best interests of students and our communities.  The evidence is clear. Consider the intense negative feedback 2 years ago that forced Dr. King to cancel the remaining dates on his Common Core tour across the state...."  READ MORE


Tiffany Reeder - Smithtown, Suffolk 

"I understand the need for standards in our educational system. The ever changing world of knowledge is undeniable. But how are these higher standards? These standards are not age appropriate. 70% are failing. The basics foundation skills are non-existent. Grammar, spelling, script. Basic adding and subtracting. The foundation skills that have put America on top in education for many years. Gone.  My son cannot write in script. Will he be able to balance a check book, do his taxes, sign his name or read the constitution? Because that’s in script...."  READ MORE

Mitchell Rubinstein

"You can not “fix” Common Core. You can’t “tweak” it. For the past five years, some of New York’s most respected education experts have been trying to explain to you that Common Core is a painful, expensive disaster.  Many of these experts are people who initially supported Common Core. Some even participated in its development.  But now?  They oppose it. Some withdrew their support when it became clear that Common Core was being used to restrict and narrow our children’s curriculum, and curtail teachers’ ability to innovate...." READ MORE 
John Sheffield - Oswego, Oswego


Nicholas Tampio - Mamaroneck, Westchester

"New York must revise 'anchor standard' so students can learn to digest what they read, and not just regurgitate it. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced that New York’s experience with the Common Core has been “deeply flawed” and convened a Common Core Task Force to review the standards and the way they have been implemented and tested in the state. The task force will complete its review by the end of the year, and the governor will presumably present a new education policy in his State of the State address...."  READ MORE 

Yolanda Thompson - Riverhead, Suffolk

"Students with (I)ndivualized (E)ducation (P)lans are harmed the most under the CCLS.  One of the most important components of an IEP are clear, measurable, and attainable goals.  Common Core requires that students with IEPs be taught and tested at grade levels not where they are actually functioning academically, intellectually, emotionally, etc.  Many students with IEPs or learning disabilities are reading at lower lexiles and doing math calculations 2, 3, or more grades below the current grade level they are in and expected to meet state standards in.  Therefore this makes it virtually impossible to write and meet goals that meet the CC learning/state standards...."  READ ME

Patricia Villella - Oceanside, Nassau

"Four years too late Gov. Cuomo. Our children have lost four years out of their lives without a true education. Our children cannot get that back. You have put this task force together for a total reboot. Your words- The State’s learning standards must be strong, sensible and fair, and parents and teachers should be able to have faith in those standards. This Task Force will ensure that this becomes the reality...READ MORE

Allison White

"Good Afternoon: My name is Allison White and I am a proud graduate of Long Island public schools, the proud parent of two public school graduates, and the proud parent of one child still attending public school. I am also a Co-founder of the Port Washington Advocates for
Public Education, a grass-roots group of over 400 parents and community members in Port Washington, on Long Island’s North Shore. We are one of over 50 similar groups who are allies of (NYSAPE), the New York State Allies for Public Education...."
Tonya Wilson - Camillus, Onondaga

"Hello I am Tonya Wilson, a parent of three girls living in the Camillus NY area, a suburb of Syracuse. We have the pleasure of attending West Genesee Central School district; a district rich in excellent teachers, talented and well-rounded students, a district rich in academic opportunities, music opportunities, fine arts opportunities, and athletic opportunities.  Our SI is always reminding us that we have a 98% graduation rate to be proud of and yet….. Close to 36% on average in our 3-8th graders are not meeting Common Core Academic Standards.  This trend of not meeting the standards has barely changed over the last three school years...." READ ME

Maureen Wood - Canastota, Madison 

"Good evening.  I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you tonight. Before I get started, I wanted to mention that, while I appreciate that you both are taking notes about the testimony that you are hearing tonight, I would like to recommend to those giving testimony that they submit a video or written copy of their testimony to Stop Common Core in NYS. They are looking to collect copies of everyone’s testimony so that there is a "complete" record of what is said in these meetings....

Christine Zirkelbach - Brewster, Putnam

"I have been reading though the AimHighNY math standards starting with..." READ MORE


Video Testimony

Genesee Community College - Batavia, NY


Herkimer College - Mohawk Valley, Herkimer, NY


Lake Placid, NY



Loudonville, NY




SUNY Purchase College, Purchase NY


Stony Brook, NY




Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY



Binghamton University, Vestal NY




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