Regents Slow Down Common Core; Where Do You Stand?

Higher testing benchmarks pushed off until 2022. "Ineffective" teachers get chance to appeal.

Protesters stand outside of the News 12 studio in Woodbury on Monday to demand Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fix or scrap the controversial new Common Core curriculum. Credit: Monica Gleberman
Protesters stand outside of the News 12 studio in Woodbury on Monday to demand Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fix or scrap the controversial new Common Core curriculum. Credit: Monica Gleberman
The highly criticized rollout of Common Core Curriculum took a step back on Monday, as the New York State Board of Regents decided to delay several parts of the initiative tied to testing and teacher evaluations.

For starters, the board voted to push testing rules to 2022, as opposed to 2017, stipulating students score above 75 or 80 on Regents exams in English and math to graduate.

The board also agreed to allow teachers who received “ineffective” ratings under the new teacher evaluation system to appeal the rating because the quick rollout of last year’s high-stakes tests did not give them enough time to prepare.

The state said no teacher has been fired for getting an “ineffective” mark, but under the rules of the evaluations system, any teacher who scores two “ineffective” ratings in a row could lose their job.

See the board's full recommendations above.

“When the Board approved the shift to the Common Core four years ago, we knew we would have to make adjustments as the standards rolled out,” Rochester area Regent Wade Norwood said in a statement. “The work group balanced the concerns all of us have heard with the progress we’ve made toward raising the bar for our students. The changes we’ve made protect teachers and students from unforeseen and unintended consequences of the implementation without damaging the foundation we’ve built to help our students succeed in the 21st century.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the Regents for pulling back on Common Core.

"As far as today's recommendations are concerned, there is a difference between remedying the system for students and parents and using this situation as yet another excuse to stop the teacher evaluation process,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“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."

The rollout of Common Core, a curriculum that its creators say will better prepare American students for college, the workforce and to compete on the global stage, is being implemented across the country. And in many cases, such as in New York, implementing Common Core is tied to how much federal money states receive for their schools.

But the increase in work for students, new approaches to learning and an intense testing regiment has caused parents across the state to call for a slowdown of the rollout. In packed forums across the state, parents have turned out in droves to personally question state Education Commissioner John King over the curriculum they say is hurting their children.

At a recent forum in Riverhead, NY, one social worker said she has seen a major jump in the number of kids suffering from stress related to Common Core. Maria Calamia, a clinical social worker who has a private practice in Stony Brook, NY, said she is dealing with kids who are wetting their beds, getting nosebleeds from stress, complaining of stomachaches, asking to sleep in their parents' bed and even using drugs.

Let us know in the comments how you feel about the Regents’ decision on Monday.
Aidan April 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM
Bob Zahm April 11, 2014 at 10:23 PM
@Aidan - you're turning into a spammer! the same url on three different threads. really necessary?
Aidan April 13, 2014 at 05:56 AM
Just trying to educate you … over and over again.
David April 13, 2014 at 02:18 PM
@Elsie I'll grant that it's a hard question for second grade. Students can show divisibility by showing 12 being split into 4 equal parts, and again into 6 equal parts, with a diagram, but I think few second graders would get this right. Any second grader who gets this right is showing unusual mathematical talent, or at least unusual advancement in meeting common core standards. Don't we want to allow such unusual talent to be recognized? Especially in elementary grades these days, there seems so little opportunity for it these days.
Elsie April 18, 2014 at 04:23 PM
@David -- Talent should be recognized by differentiating instruction. Those 2nd graders who can do this should, those who can't should be taught at a level that is more developmentally appropriate for them. There is very little room for enriching those students who should be or helping those students who need it using the Engage NY Modules. I am not a teacher but I have looked at the NY modules and the CC standards. I believe that teachers can address CC standards without the developmental inappropriateness of the NY requirements.


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