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. Still we must keep in mind that the results, no matter how distressing, are but a snapshot of a moment in a single day of a student, it's not a full measure of a student’s capabilities.
I have been in contact with Commissioner King and members of the Regents to voice my concerns early in this process. ( below you will find a time line of the correspondence and meetings that I have had in regard to this issue.) I believe that they are finally listening and small changes are beginning to be initiated.
As an educator for over 20 years I support striving for the highest achievement for both our students and teachers, but believe that we must be prudent in our implementation strategies. It is apparent that not enough time was spent in the classroom with teachers and students; the very individuals most affected by the change. They must be heard.
September 20, 2012
Meeting with Commissioner King and Regents Tilles with the Superintendents, Presidents of the Board of Education and NYSUT representatives on Common Core implementation, APPR and PARCC
April 11, 2013
Letter to Commissioner King asking him to make an official proclamation that clearly states that teacher evaluations for 2013 will not be negatively impacted by common core testing
April 23, 2013
Follow up letter to Commissioner King – regarding my serious concerns with the impact of the accelerated testing schedule adopted to implement the Common Core Standards in New York State and his lack of response. “While it is your right to disagree with my position, I would have appreciated a response explaining your position”
June 4, 2013
Meeting with Lt. Governor Duffy, members of Governor Cuomo’s staff & Superintendents re: common core testing
June 6, 2013
Finally a response & explanation from Commissioner King
August 14, 2013
Meeting with Superintendents re: Common Core test scores
September 17, 2013
Long Island’s Senate Education Committee Hearing - The Regents Reform Agenda: “Assessing” Our Progress
September 18, 2013
Letter to Commissioner King Re: Lack of Communication – “Do you intend to travel district by district to explain the Common Core and to hear first hand, the impact the new curriculum is having on children learning and educators teaching? This issue will not go away, nor will I stand by and simply hope this problem rights itself.”
October 15, 2013
Meeting with Dr. Meryl Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents Commissioner King and Regent Roger Tilles with the Superintendents and representation from the Boards of Education, teachers and parents of the Fifth Senate District
· Commissioner King has agreed to 16 community meetings State wide using the identical format I established on October 15
· On recommendation New York State has proposed letting eighth-graders skip the statewide math test if they take the algebra Regents test.
· Based on Teacher input the state is also planning to offer a Native Language Arts tests for English language learners
· Allow students with severe disabilities to be tested based on instructional level rather than age