Giving Voice to Latino Parents on the Common Core

A recent Newsday article highlighted efforts by some parents on Long Island to take their opt-out message over testing and the Common Core to Latino parents. Much of the article is devoted to why these groups are encouraging parents to opt out of tests, but virtually no print is given to those who support the Common Core and why the opt-out message is a dangerous one. In fact, the Latino parent perspective was missing entirely.

Peggy McLeod, our Deputy Vice President for Education and Workforce Development, sent a letter to the editor to outline exactly why the Common Core is vital for ensuring our kids take the right steps to succeed. Read the letter, as published, below.

As the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization, the National Council of La Raza works with Latino parents every day. We found Newsday’s Nov. 17 article, “Seeking Common Core opt-out ‘en Español,’ ” lacking an important perspective — that of Latino parents. Most welcome high standards and accurate measurements. Excluding voices from the strong movement in support of the Common Core and annual assessments provides an imbalanced view of a critical issue facing parents.

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Latino parents care deeply about ensuring that their children are ready to succeed. They also believe in high expectations — those set both at home and at school.

For too long, the quality of the education that a child receives, or his or her ability to succeed in college and career, has been determined by where family lives, how much money it makes or its race or ethnicity. The Common Core state standards and the tests that are aligned to them are solid steps in the right direction because they provide parents with a more honest look at how a child is doing and whether he or she is on track to succeed.

Latino parents know that standardized tests are part of life. You have to take a test to get into the military and most four-year colleges. In many professions — from hair dressers to doctors — you have to take tests to earn licenses. Taking these end-of-year tests helps prepare students for what lies ahead.

And, where their children are concerned, Latinos want that to be success.

Peggy McLeod, Manhattan

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