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Educator From Pocantico Hills Produces Documentary On Common Core, Testing

Marie Z. Amoruso Photo Credit: Contributed/Kathy DiGiovanna, Greenwich Pen Women
A Changing Suburbs Institute Forum at Manhattanville College in Purchase, titlted “Preparing Your Child for School Success.” Photo Credit: Provided

A former teacher and college professor from Pocantico Hills has produced a documentary about Common Core and the effects of the state's reliance on standardized test scores to rate students -- and teachers.

Marie Zuzzolo Amoruso is an author, former teacher and adjunct professor at Teachers College Columbia University and Manhattanville College. Amoruso taught for many years in Irvington and Tarrytown schools after beginning her education career in Mount Vernon and Pelham. Scenes from her early teaching years are in the new film.

Amoruso also works as a consultant to Westchester schools and as an advocate for children with special needs in the tri-state area. 

In addition, together with her daughter Donna Lasco of New Fairfield, Conn., the owner of Terrific Twos, a pre pre-school program for parent and child, Amoruso leads workshops for teachers, grandparents, parents and caregivers. Lasco formerly taught in Valhalla. Lasco and Amoruso continue to offer area workshops, most recently at Manhattanville College Changing Suburbs Institute Forum and at Cabrini of Westchester’s Immigrant Services.

Amoruso's new documentary, titled "More…than a score," has premiered online. The documentary highlights how Common Core and standardized testing affects a child's desire and willingness to learn and attend school. It can be watched by clicking here.

The native of Mount Vernon taught her first public school class in that city (which is in the documentary) Another scene is from when she taught in Tarrytown. However, the bulk of her daytime teaching was in Irvington.

Amoruso told Daily Voice that in response to the changes in curriculum prompted by "Race to the Top," "Engage New York" and the Common Core Testing, she took courses at Jacob Burns Media Arts Lab in Pleasantville, so that the effects of the changes, if any, could be recorded objectively. 

"This passionate journey took over two and a half years to write, direct, film, edit and interview parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, professors (and) students in New York City, Westchester, and Connecticut."

Amoruso said she's "ever-grateful for the opportunity to continue the conversation from the eyes of the children." 

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