I am proud to say that the State Legislature and the Governor have reached an agreement on the State Budget. This agreement continues to protect taxpayers and help the private sector create jobs. It closes a multi-billion dollar deficit with no new taxes, fees or gimmicks and limits spending growth to 2% or below for the second year in a row.
With the new Common Core test scores being released, many School districts across Long Island have seen a significant drop in Student’s measured performance.
Before panic sets in, we must remember that the final scores of the 2013 tests are not the clearest method of evaluating the effectiveness of a teacher’s performance or a student’s achievement in the classroom. While New York State has joined with a coalition of 45 States in adopting the Common Core, we are the only state that tested using these new standards in 2013. The other States will begin testing Common Core principles in 2014. Perhaps this fact alone demonstrates that the NYS Education Department (NYSED) may have moved too quickly.
I arranged two meetings where Commissioner King had the opportunity to hear the concerns of the educators and parents in the schools that I represent. If you are interested in watching, the second meeting, with Dr King, Chancellor Tisch and Regents Tilles it is posted below
The State Education Department (SED) has mishandled the implementation of the new Common Core Learning Standards from the start, causing unnecessary anguish and discouragement to students, parents, and teachers in every school. The results, as expected, are lower than last year’s standardized tests scores. That doesn’t mean the students and teachers failed; it means SED failed them by moving too quickly and changing the criteria midstream.
On Thursday, January 23rd, the New York State Senate Education Committee met with State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. to discuss the flawed implementation of the Common Core curriculum and to find out what he was prepared to do to help students, parents and teachers.
During the meeting, I specifically asked the Commissioner about changes to Regents Exams to match Common Core standards. I have serious concerns for our students who will be forced to take Common Core based Regents Exams without the proper preparation. I asked the Commissioner to address this issue.
Today, I voted against all the candidates who were nominated to fill the four open spots on the Board of Regents. My vote serves two purposes. First, was to express my outrage with the Common Core roll out. Second, to voice my opposition to the methodology of how Regents are nominated and elected in our State. Currently, each member of the combined legislature, a total of 213 representatives, get a vote, therefore by virtue of the numbers the selection is controlled by the majority in the state Assembly.
Every parent has a fundamental right to protect their child’s personal data and to choose what information is available and to whom. With that in mind, I was proud to support the creation of a “Parents’ Bill of Rights”.
As part of this year’s State Budget, the State Education Department (SED) was required to develop a "Parents' Bill of Rights" on the use and security of student data. The law was a direct result of strong parental opposition to the inBloom data cloud project. In addition to requiring the Bill of Rights, the law also forced SED to eliminate the plan to participate in the inBloom project.
I have been notified that the public comment period on the proposed changes to the Annual Professional Performance Review for teachers has been opened. Public comment on the pending evaluation regulations should be sent to Eval2015@nysed.gov this is your opportunity to let the Board of Regents know your thoughts and concerns. I encourage you to make constructive comments and help make the system better for everyone especially the children.