Education

New York to Slow Down Common Core Implementation

February 11, 2014

Under pressure from teachers unions, parents and state lawmakers, New York's Board of Regents on Monday morning agreed to slow down the implementation of the Common Core academic standards. Prominent among the proposals: Teachers would be protected from being fired if their students score badly on standardized tests.

"No educator will be unfairly penalized for the Common Core transition," said state Education Commissioner John King Jr. as he laid out a detailed 19-point plan to "adjust" implementation of the standards and the tests that attend them.

"We listened very carefully," Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said after the vote.

But if the leaders of the state's education system thought their announcement would placate their critics, they didn't have to wait long to be disappointed. Lawmakers said they'd proceed with a push for legislative adjustments, while a powerful state teachers union repeated its demand for a blanket moratorium on the use of test scores for teacher evaluations.

The toughest critique, though, came from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"Today's recommendations are another in a series of missteps by the Board of Regents that suggests the time has come to seriously re-examine its capacity and performance," Cuomo said in a scathing statement. "These recommendations are simply too little too late for our parents and students.''

"The Regents' response is to recommend delaying the teacher evaluation system and is yet another in a long series of roadblocks to a much-needed evaluation system which the Regents had stalled putting in place for years," added Cuomo, a Democrat.

The governor on Friday named the members of a special commission to examine how to fix the problem through legislation, which would be distinct from the regulations that the Regents control.

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