Capitol Comments
By Assemblyman Marc Butler

Being a father and now a grandparent, I've learned kids just don't fit into molds. So why should their education?

Kids learn in a number of different ways, and teachers know how to teach to these different learning styles. Common Core is threatening to break apart the productive relationship our children have with their teachers and their learning. Common Core's standardized testing puts pressure on teachers to "teach to the test." As more time is focused on teaching to pass a test, the education of our children is compromised.

Another consideration is the great expense this federal mandate is costing the State of New York and its schools. In order to comply with Common Core our schools will have to invest a considerable amount of time and money into training personnel, purchasing costly textbooks, materials and technology. In fact, according to the Pioneer Institute of Public Policy Research, states participating in Common Core, like New York, will be spending nearly $16 billion over the next seven years just to implement the new standards.

The mandated costs will cause schools to have less freedom to invest in what will best serve their student populations. Across my district, schools' needs vary from rural communities to busier towns like Herkimer and Gloversville. All schools are not alike and all children are not alike.

I believe in preparing our children to be successful adults. That means a number of things. For one child it may mean attaining a higher education, while another is bound for skill-based work. In the end, Common Core distracts educators and students from pursuing these opportunities.

Because of the important role education plays in our children's lives, I am not willing to let Common Core derail the progress we've made with our students. Several other states are reconsidering their involvement with Common Core, and I am sponsoring a bill that would remove it from our schools.

I am eager to hear your input on Common Core standards. Please share your ideas with me at or by calling my Herkimer Office at (315) 866-1632 or my Johnstown Office at (518) 762-6486.

Note: Republican Marc Butler represents the 118th Assembly District in New York state.