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Collins blasts Common Core standards

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Western New York Congressman Chris Collins said the Common Core standards are so bad they need to be stopped and stopped right now. "For the kids coming home and having nightmares and are getting turned off to school, tomorrow is not soon enough."

The Clarence Republican had one of his telephone town hall meetings Monday and focused it on the Common Core. A series of callers attacked the standards and say they are hurting more than helping, besides costing more.

None of the callers supported the overall Common Core, with some calling for complete abolition while others say it doesn't deal well with specific groups like special education kids or gifted and talented students.

A man identified as Chris from Springville says Congress has to stop the program because local educators have no control.

"Their hands are tied, Congressman, because of the Race to the Top policy coming down from the federal government. So, my question is what you can do and what can your colleagues do in Congress to change these mandates because basically it's controlling everything that's happening in our schools?" 

Congressman Collins said Common Core doesn't work.

"We admit this a failure. We're hearing more and more, you know, the teachers unions in New York. The governor himself is saying just maybe this was a too much, too soon," Collins said.

State Regent Robert Bennett said that's not going to happen although it can be tweaked. According to Bennett, the State Education Department will work with teachers who are having trouble to improve their support.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.