New York Daily News: NYS Senate Education Chairman Praises Regents Changes To Common Core

John J. Flanagan

Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan (R-Suffolk) this afternoon was far less critical than Gov. Cuomo when discussing the changes the Board of Regents have proposed for the Common Core curriculum.

Flanagan praised the Regents for addressing many of the issues that parents and the lawmakers have been calling for. He called the changes a major step in the right direction and said it shows the Regents were listening to the widespread complaints.

“Compared to where they were and where they are today is night and day from where they started,” Flanagan said.

The Regents' plan, he said, addresses many of the issues the Senate has introduced bills to tackle, including the elimination of unnecessary testing and standardized testing for students in prekindergarten through second grade. He also praised the delay in releasing personalized student data to third parties. 

He also highlighted the plan for ensuring that the graduating class of 2022 will be the first required to pass Common Core testing in order to graduate.

“Those are all positive things,” he said. “We’re going to have more discussions.”

Asked about Cuomo’s comments that the new plan would weaken a push for tougher teaching standards, Flanagan indicated it would do a lot to alleviate the fears of parents.

“There are things there the parents understand,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with eliminating standardized testing for pre-K through 2. There’s nothing wrong with saying we’re going to get rid of unnecessary testing. Those are things I think are right. Those are things that I think parents want. That has nothing to do with teachers. These are things that parents are concerned with.”

Despite the praise, Flanagan said he will still push the bills as a type of “belts and suspenders.”

He said there will also be continued discussions with the Regents and state Ed since the new plan “doesn’t address all concerns on delay and moratoriums.”

But he said the Regents seem to recognize they messed up and are now looking to correct it.

“They didn’t use the word ‘apology’ but they used the word ‘regrets’ about the way things have unfolded,” he said. “That’s a significant departure from where they were even a week ago.”

By Ken Lovett - Please click here to visit New York Daily News web site