Governor says Common Core “deeply flawed” in NY

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Committee will review education standards, make recommendations for improvement

Gov. Andrew Cuomo conceded today that the implementation of the Common Core education standards has been “deeply flawed” in New York State.

The governor is forming a committee of education experts, teachers, parents, the commissioner of education and legislative representatives to make recommendations for improving Common Core. He wants the plan for improving the system ready by his January State of the State Address.

State-wide there was a big groundswell of opposition against the tests, with about 20 percent of students not taking the grades 3-8 Math and ELA tests in April. The “opt-out” rate was higher in Orleans County.

In Orleans the opt-out rates include: Albion: Math, 29 percent; ELA, 22 percent; Holley: Math, 43 percent; ELA, 40 percent; Kendall: Math, 34 percent; ELA, 30 percent; Lyndonville: Math, 26 percent; ELA, 19 percent; and Medina: Math, 30 percent; ELA, 21 percent.

Cuomo issued this statement about Common Core today:

“There has been an ongoing discussion about Common Core Standards nationwide, and in this state as well. I have said repeatedly my position is that while I agree with the goal of Common Core Standards, I believe the implementation by the State Education Department (SED) has been deeply flawed. The more time goes on, the more I am convinced of this position.

“A growing chorus of experts have questioned the intelligence of SED’s Common Core program and objective educators across the state have found the implementation problematic, to say the least. The new Commissioner of Education has inherited this problem and I understand has been meeting with parents, educators and students, and has heard the same concerns. Recently, SED has made comments about organized efforts to have parents choose to opt out of standardized tests. While I understand the issue and SED’s valid concern, I sympathize with the frustration of the parents.

“We must have standards for New York’s students, but those standards will only work if people – especially parents – have faith in them and in their ability to educate our children. The current Common Core program does not do that. It must.

“The fact is that the current Common Core program in New York is not working, and must be fixed. To that end, the time has come for a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Common Core Standards, curriculum, guidance and tests in order to address local concerns. I am taking this action not because I don’t believe in standards, but because I do.

“In the past, I employed an Education Commission to make substantive, unbiased recommendations on reforms to our education system. It has worked very well. I will ask a representative group from that Commission, including education experts, teachers, parents, the Commissioner of Education and legislative representatives to review the issues raised above and provide recommendations in time for my State of the State Address in January.”