Statement on Common Core

James L. Seward

October 04, 2013

ONEONTA, 10/04/13 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today commented on ‘Common Core’ state standards and associated New York State assessment testing:

“I have been hearing from a great many on the new assessment tests that follow the 'Common Core' state standards. I appreciate everyone’s comments and thoughts.

“Common Core by itself does not mean more tests – but they will be different tests. The New York State assessment testing, which began in April of this year, is mandated by the federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. New York, as a state, is not requiring more assessments. But the federal government is.

“The federal NCLB Act requires yearly assessments in math and language arts in grades third through eighth and at least once in grades ten through twelve. Science must be tested at least once during grades three through five, six through nine and ten through twelve.

“Here in New York, the state legislature does not adopt or set educational standards. They are established by the board of regents.

“I have heard a number of concerns from parents, administrators and educators about both the Common Core standards and the panoply of testing requirements that students face.

“Currently, the senate education committee is holding public hearings on both Common Core and the assessments. I participated in the hearing on October 1 in Syracuse and am evaluating, along with my colleagues, an appropriate legislative response to this issue.

“I understand the apprehension expressed about the Common Core standards and the assessments, and as we move forward to review and further study this issue, I will be sensitive to the concerns expressed.”