Dear Commons Community,
NYS Governor Andrew announced the establishment of a Common Core Task Force yesterday, stating that: “The State’s learning standards must be strong, sensible and fair, and parents and teachers should be able to have faith in those standards. This Task Force will ensure that this becomes the reality.” As described by his office’s announcement:
“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the Common Core Task Force – a diverse and highly-qualified group of education officials, teachers, parents, and state representatives from across New York that is charged with comprehensively reviewing and making recommendations to overhaul the current Common Core system and the way we test our students. The Task Force will complete its review and deliver its final recommendations by the end of this year.
The Task Force will include members of the Governor’s successful New NY Education Reform Commission, which played an instrumental role in developing a blueprint to improve the quality of education for all students through its final report in January 2014. Richard Parsons, who chaired that Commission, will return to lead the Governor’s Common Core Task Force. Mr. Parsons is Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners Inc. and former Chairman of the Board, Citigroup Inc.
Mr. Parsons said: “We can all agree that our students deserve every opportunity they can to learn and grow – and having tough, fair standards is crucial to ensuring that they receive those opportunities. I am happy to serve as chair of the Common Core Task Force, because I believe that this is the opportunity we need to fix New York’s education standards and improve the lives and learning outcomes of students across the state. By performing an in-depth review of everything from curriculum to testing, we can lay out exactly what needs to be done to fix the Common Core. I am grateful to Governor Cuomo for asking me to lead this important endeavor, and I am eager to get to work.”
Governor Cuomo believes that the learning standards should be strong, accurate and fair, because having the highest standards is critical to ensuring that students are educated and prepared for their futures in college or the workforce. However, the Common Core program’s flawed rollout by the State Education Department has caused disruption and anxiety that must be fixed, including testing aligned to the standards.
With that in mind, the Governor has charged the Task Force to:
- Review and reform the Common Core State Standards;
- Review New York State’s curriculum guidance and resources;
- Develop a process to ensure tests fit curricula and standards;
- Examine the impact of the current moratorium on recording Common Core test scores on student records, and make a recommendation as to whether it should be extended;
- Examine how the State and local districts can reduce both the quantity and duration of student tests, and develop a plan whereby districts include parents in reviewing local tests being administered to analyze those tests’ purpose and usefulness; and
- Review the quality of the tests to ensure competence and professionalism from the private company creating and supplying the tests.
The Governor has directed the Task Force to conduct its process as transparently as possible and to solicit and consider input from regional advisory councils comprised of parents, teachers and educators across the state. A new website (ny.gov/CommonCoreTaskForce) has been launched to encourage participation, including by allowing visitors to submit comments and recommendations to the Task Force. The Task Force’s report will be issued publicly by the end of the year so that it can be reviewed by all and changes can be implemented quickly and effectively.”
This Task Force is well-needed!