Statement by Senator Zeldin Regarding Today’s Release of New State Education Test Scores

Lee M. Zeldin

August 07, 2013

Statement by Senator Zeldin Regarding Today’s Release of New State Education Test Scores

State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R,C,I- Shirley) just released the following statement following today’s announcement of new state education test scores:

I am deeply concerned by the reckless implementation and misguided direction of the national Common Core movement to try to establish a one size fits all education model.  Today’s release of testing scores is absolutely nothing to celebrate or attempt to spin.  It’s evidence of an educational system failing to properly prepare students for success in life.  The poor scores are indicative of improper implementation of Common Core.  Our students are not guinea pigs and this experiment needs to stop until and only if the many flaws can be corrected.

With regards to the Common Core efforts in D.C., I strongly believe that the responsibility to establish curriculum and standards has traditionally been held at the local and state level and that is where it should stay. 

It is a dangerous precedent to set, stripping away local control and flexibility to develop models within New York that require us to constantly lobby a higher authority.  Instead, we should be looking to better develop our tech and general education paths, and reduce the overemphasis on certain high stakes testing that has led to teachers focusing too much time to solely teaching to the test.  Assessments and tests are important to measure growth in learning but not all tests are created equally nor evenly applied.  Rather than aspiring towards one size fits all students, we should welcome our diversity of backgrounds and skills and foster learning environments best suited for the individual student.

The implementation of the Common Core in New York was clearly rushed, resulting in sloppy product, as evidenced by the scores released today. The curriculum doesn’t seem to yet be calibrated appropriately and effectively leading to unprepared students come test time. As any good educator, parent or student will tell you, this is simply not the way to achieve quality.

There is nothing wrong with leaning forward in life so long as you don't lean so far forward that you fall on your face.  It’s time to hit the pause button on the implementation of common core and any further moves towards blindly adopting curriculum and standards the federal government sets without a full understanding of the potential impact on our state’s students.