Common Core Under Fire from State Lawmakers

Parents packed a Port Chester auditorium in October 2013 to protest the Common Core standards and tests.
Parents packed a Port Chester auditorium in October 2013 to protest the Common Core standards and tests.
Leaders of the New York Assembly and Senate said they would push the state Board of Regents for a moratorium on the tests connected to the Common Core standards, for measuring both student and teacher performance, according to capitalnewyork.com.

State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Westchester, Bronx), one of the Senate's co-leaders, issued a statement with co-leader Dean Skelos  and Senate Education Committee chair John Flanagan.

“We continue to support the goals of an improved education curriculum that increases standards and ensures that students are college and career ready,” the statement said. 

Common Core and the state's whole school-improvement initiative, called EngageNY, has come in for increasingly loud and angry criticism from parents, educators and lawmakers since its adoption by the state Education Department. They complained that SED set the pass scores too high right away on tests of material students had barely been introduced to, that children were being needlessly stressed by incessant testing and that teachers were being unfairly rated by the flawed test system.

Harry Phillips, who represents the lower Hudson Valley on the Board of Regents, said he thought the board and state education officials had been "tone-deaf" in the implementation. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office responded to the lawmakers' statements with a press release from Communications Director Melissa DeRosa.

"The Governor believes that we need to set real standards for our students and have a meaningful teacher evaluation system, and continues to support the Common Core agenda.," she said in the statement. 

"However, the Governor believes that the way that Common Core has been managed by the Board of Regents is flawed, leading to too much uncertainty, confusion and anxiety among students and their parents. The strength of public education in New York is dependent on a rational system that is well administered.

"Two weeks ago, the Governor announced that he will assemble a panel that includes education experts and members of the legislature to identify flaws in Common Core’s rollout and take corrective action by the end of this session. The Governor believes there are two issues – common core and teacher evaluations – and they must be analyzed separately. It would be premature to consider any moratorium before the panel is allowed to do its work." 

Allison White February 26, 2014 at 08:39 AM
Stop the New York State Education Department (NYSED) from sharing confidential information without parental consent and violating the privacy rights of students and parents. Sign the petition at this link http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-new-york-state
Harold1968 March 03, 2014 at 04:59 PM
Teachers don't want to be held accountable for the teaching, or lack of teaching, they provide. They're getting parents all riled up so CC is delayed and eventually killed. The teachers I know personally don't care about their students. They became teachers to work nine months of the year, get six figure salaries with two annual raises, retire in their 50's with $100,000+ annual pensions and free healthcare for life. Wake up taxpayers! We pay higher and higher taxes for teacher compensation while our kids fail miserably compared to the rest of the world. Bad teachers need to be fired without years of litigation, teachers need to teach our children at least 210 days each year, they need to retire at 67 like we do, they need to be switched to 401K plans like the rest of us, they need to pay for their own healthcare and get one annual raise based on inflation. Wake up New York, you're getting ripped off by the teachers union and the politicians they own.
Robert Wingate March 03, 2014 at 07:53 PM
I have put two children through high school in several Westchester school districts, as well as having lived in Colorado where far few dollars were allocated for public education, to the great detriment of the systems and students in that state. I think the majority of the teachers our children have studied with, in both places, have been conscientious, intelligent and committed educators, and New York in particular has been blessed by high quality teaching in many of its schools. I think the schools could probably do a decent job working with the Common Core's emphasis on more rigorous thinking, if given the sufficient level of resources needed to train and support teachers in the course of the rollout. I do not have the sense that our state, with its often penny-wise and pound-foolish attitude toward holding back resources from school districts in need, such as by imposing a stifling property tax cap, has made this commitment in full, even as it has enforced the standardized evaluation measures that come with the curriculum. But I think local school districts are trying to catch up to the curriculum's demands. I wish them luck.
Harold1968 March 04, 2014 at 10:17 AM
Robert, Taxpayers have been throwing money at the education system for decades while being told by the teachers union to "think of the children!". Ironically the more we give the teachers the worse our children do compared to the rest of the world. Taypayers are done with this charade. The tax cap is the only sanity in the county with the highest property taxes in America.
Aidan April 11, 2014 at 10:05 PM


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