Dear Commons Community,
Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District), Chairman of the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Education, issued a report of findings and recommendations related to the Education Committee’s recent series of statewide public hearings entitled: The Regents Reform Agenda: “Assessing” Our Progress.
The five hearings – held in Long Island, Syracuse, Buffalo, New York City and Albany – gathered extensive testimony from a broad cross-section of educational stakeholders around the State on concerns related to the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) by the State Education Department (SED).
The Executive Summary lists the following recommendations:
Action for the NYS Department of Education
• Expediting waivers from the Federal government (US Department of Education) to relax onerous and rigid testing restrictions placed on certain students, such as Students With Disabilities and English Language Learners (ELL);
• Producing all missing or incomplete curriculum modules immediately;
• Aligning assessments proportionally to curriculum actually implemented;
• Delaying operation of the Education Data Portal (EDP) for one year; and
• Increasing funding for the professional development of teachers.
Action for the NYS Legislature
• “P-2 Bill” – which would ban standardized testing on students in Pre-K through 2nd grade;
• “Unnecessary Testing” Bill – which would require the Commissioner of Education to expedite a review of APPR plans solely to eliminate unnecessary student assessments;
• Privacy Bill – which would strengthen protections of personal information stored on the state-wide data portal, establish significant civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure of personal information and create independent oversight within SED on matters related to privacy; and
• Truth-In-Testing Bill – would require the Commissioner of Education to report on the effectiveness of common core tests and require an independent audit to review and evaluate the common core testing program.
Senator Flanagan and his committee have done New York State, its residents, and especially its children, a great service.