Queens, NY, March 31, 2014 – Changes to New York State schools’ Common Core are coming, and State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. and fellow legislators are prepared to monitor how and when the changes are executed.
Since the year began, Senator Addabbo has hosted various Common Core town halls throughout his district, meeting with parents and educators about what the impending changes mean for students.
“Most concerns are from parents, worried the implementation won’t happen quickly enough or to their liking. If that’s the case, I and the legislature are prepared to step in,” Senator Addabbo said.
The Senator mentioned that even the State Budget will impose changes to the Common Core, including a moratorium that will go into effect immediately.
The Board of Regents has proposed a number of changes aimed to further a students’ education and alleviate some stress in regards to standardized testing. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in early February that members of his Common Core Implementation Panel have reviewed the Common Core standards and suggested various alterations.
Under the new standards, a student would not be penalized for placement because of Common Core tests, funding would be provided to allow test questions to be released to teachers and parents, unnecessary testing would be reduced and traditional standardized tests would be eliminated in kindergarten through second grade in the 2014-2015 school year.
“These changes, if implemented correctly, could allow our children to simply learn without the looming pressure of state tests,” Senator Addabbo said.
The proposal also includes a periodical review of the standards, allowing for more parental engagement, seek a waiver for students with disabilities to be assessed on an instructional level, provide resources for teachers of students with disabilities, and also clarify that a score of “2” is not a failing grade, but means the students needs extra help.
“We have heard from our parents, teachers, administrators and even our children. We have heard them and we have acted.,” Senator Addabbo said. “If we’re not convinced these changes are moving ahead quickly and in the right direction, we’re prepared legislatively to do additional changes.”
The Senator stated that his Albany and district offices have responded to numerous emails and phone calls from concerned individuals throughout the district.
Twelve pieces of legislation have been introduced addressing all of these changes. The issues the panel and legislature hope to amend include curriculum development and implementation, lack of oversight and review of Common Core roll-out, initial lack of input from parents and educators, too much testing, reduced teacher innovation, personal student data collection and distribution, costs of implementation and funding, resources for special needs students and no return of test results.
“The state legislature has identified that Common Core implementation needed to be addressed. Making sure these changes are seen through effectively is an utmost priority for my colleagues and me. We need to help our students excel, not overwhelm them with testing,” Senator Addabbo said. “If we don’t do right by them now, where does that leave us 20 years down the road?”