School boycott on Staten Island over Common Core curriculum

Art McFarland has the story
November 18, 2013 7:43:41 PM PST
Some students stayed home from school Monday as part of a protest against a national curriculum.

The boycott was organized by parents who are upset about the Common Core curriculum adopted by 45 states, including New York.

The program was designed to set consistent goals for students in English and math, but critics say it is too difficult and relies too heavily on testing.

"I have a dual Masters in education, and I believe the Common Core is disgusting," parent Ellie Motondo said. "I believe in higher standards, but I don't believe in this curriculum."

Other parents say children benefit from the curriculum.

"I don't think the boycott is a good idea," parent Ben Ficalora said. "I think kids need to be challenged."

The Common Core boycott has become a political movement on Facebook, with postings coming in from around the country.

Stephanie Locricchio is a local organizer for the boycott and also a parent.

"The message that we want to deliver is that education is about forming friendships, encouraging children and helping them to learn to the best of their ability," she said. "Not forming a curriculum that is not realistic and discouraging to children."

Parents who joined the boycott expected to gain the attention of the educators who decide how and what their children are taught at school.