‘White moms’ remark fuels clash over new educational standards

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STATEN ISLAND (PIX11) – Stephanie Locricchio says the new educational initiative within New York City schools is fractured, “This system is designed to break them of their confidence.”

The “them” the 34-year-old mother is referring to are students.

Locricchio along with many other parents kept their children home from school on Monday.

The reason?  The common core program.

The education program, which is not New York centric, has been implemented at schools in 45 states and the District of Columbia since 2010. When announced last winter, the city’s DOE said that “The Common Core standards represent an opportunity to improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools across the city.”

Locricchio says the reality is it’s a poorly designed program fueled by a demanding curriculum filled with unrealistic expectations, The curriculum is giving them work that is just far beyond and what they are able to deliver at this point. So you’re asking second graders to read fourth grade-level books and comprehend them and be able to write about something  that they don’t understand.”

As a result there was a nationwide protest Monday orchestrated via Facebook for parents to keep their kids home.  This all comes after U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan created an uproar Friday by saying that “white suburban moms are upset” that their children are not “brilliant.”  Secretary Duncan apologized over his comments less than 72 hours later.

Locricchio’s take on Secretary Duncan’s comments, “I think it is unfair and unwarranted to say because he really doesn’t know.  Just to clarify my son is thriving in school right now.”

Later Locricchio went to her son’s school after hours to pick up the work her son and nephew missed on Monday.  While exiting she was approached by another mother who kept her children home in protest.

The 34-year-old proactive mother says her son will be back on Tuesday and the fight will continue.

She also added, that in her opinion, there is a viable resolution, “The resolution to get it right —  to me — involves a lot more involvement from parents, a lot more involvement from teachers and less of big corporations and big government being involved with our education system.”

The Department of Education did tell PIX11 News that city schools had an attendance rate of 91.5%, which is an average day in the city.