Dear Commons Community,
Momentum is gaining in the New York State Legislature to delay implementation of the Common Core curriculum. As reported in several media outlets, state assembly speaker Sheldon Silver is being joined by Senate leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein in calling for a delay of two years. As reported in The Daily News:
“State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and his education committee chief said Tuesday that high-stakes testing associated with the new Common Core curriculum should be delayed for two years — at least.
Common Core standards for math and English have been adopted by most states — and have rankled parents who say they’re being implemented too quickly to give students a chance of hitting the goals.
In a statement, Silver and Education Committee Chairwoman Cathy Nolan (D-Queens) said while “New Yorkers share the same goal – to improve our schools and help prepare our students to be successful and college and career ready upon graduation,” the process is moving too fast.
“The use of Common Core aligned tests for high-stakes decisions for teachers, principals and students should be delayed, at a minimum, for two years,” they said, while the state Education Department works with local districts to develop a game plan.
Gov. Cuomo has also stepped into the debate, saying in his budget address last month that “corrective action” is needed in how New York’s Board of Regents is putting Common Core into action.
As our Glenn Blain previously noted, state Education Commissioner John King Jr. got worked over for hours by legislators from both sides of the aisle during a January hearing on instituting Common Core.
At that time, King defended the standards as necessary to improving schooling, and said the debate about Common Core has been “conflated” with controversies about standardized testing and teacher evaluations.
Silver and Nolan also reiterated their concerns about the safety of giving an outside vendor access to student information, which could include not only grades and test scores, but data on disabilities and discipline.
No data should be handed over, they said, until questions are answered about protection against security breaches “as well as the highly inappropriate potential for commercialization.”
As I have posted a number of times on this blog, the Common Core as a curriculum is not the problem but the implementation here in New York was problematic at best. This delay is warranted.