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The Common Core kerfuffle continues

Students and teachers in New York will have five more years to adjust to the Common Core standards, as the state's Board of Regents has voted to delay full implementation of graduation requirements until the Class of 2022.

Students and teachers in New York will have five more years to adjust to the Common Core standards, as the state's Board of Regents has voted to delay full implementation of graduation requirements until the Class of 2022.

— The trouble with Common Core

Common Core learning standards are a more rigorous benchmark initially approved by the New York State Board of Regents in 2010. The requirements, which have been adopted in states across the country, are aimed at helping children acquire sophisticated reasoning skills. The goal behind these standards is to move the schools away from rote learning to a writing-intensive curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving skills. They were rolled out statewide last year, but in many cases schools and teachers weren’t provided with the necessary materials to implement the curriculum. That didn’t stop the state from using said curriculum in the most recent round of state assessment tests, resulting in record-low scores statewide.

The rocky rollout led Gov. Andrew Cuomo to convene a task force to look into fixing the implementation of the curriculum. Though he has been a staunch supporter of Common Core, Cuomo acknowledged that the Board of Regents and the New York State Department of Education erred in the manner in which they put the curriculum into effect.

“The way Common Core has been managed by the Board of Regents is flawed,” Cuomo said during his 2014-15 executive budget presentation in January. “There is too much uncertainty, confusion and anxiety. Parents, students, and teachers need the best education reforms – which include Common Core and teacher evaluations – but they also need a rational system that is well administered. We will assemble a panel that includes education experts and Members of the Legislature to make recommendations for corrective action by the end of this session on how Common Core should be implemented.”

That panel had just been named when the Board of Regents, which works independently of Cuomo’s office, made its recommendations on Feb. 10, earning stern remarks from the governor, particularly concerning the state’s teacher evaluation system.

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