Senate leaders are on board with the push to delay using Common Core-based tests to evaluate students and teachers, too.
Senate Co-Leaders Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, and Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, issued a joint statement Tuesday with Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan, R-Nassau County, calling on the state to wait two years before using Common Core test scores in “high-stakes decisions” involving students and teachers.
The senators also called on the state Education Department to delay the creation of a statewide database of student data—operated by inBloom, a third-party non-profit—for at least a year.
The statement was issued a few hours after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, and Assembly Education Chairwoman Cathy Nolan, D-Queens, issued a near-identical call.
“Unless the Board of Regents acts to alleviate the concerns of parents, teachers and other educators, we call on the Regents to delay the use of Common Core tests for high-stakes decisions about teachers, principals and students for a minimum of two years,” the Senate leaders’ statement reads.
In response, state Education Commissioner John King and Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch issued their own joint statement, noting that a panel tasked with recommending adjustments to the state’s Common Core implementation will report to the Board of Regents next week.
“The Board of Regents and State Education Department will continue to work to improve implementation of the Common Core in our schools and all the laws and regulations we administer in furtherance of educational excellence,” Tisch and King said.
Here’s the full statement from Klein, Flanagan and Skelos:
“We continue to support the goals of an improved education curriculum that increases standards and ensures that students are college and career ready.
“However, after having spent months listening to parents, teachers, administrators and educational professionals at public hearings conducted throughout New York State, it is our belief that while the implementation of Common Core Learning Standards may have been well intended, it has been poorly executed.
“We continue to have grave concerns over this flawed roll-out. Unless the Board of Regents acts to alleviate the concerns of parents, teachers and other educators, we call on the Regents to delay the use of Common Core tests for high-stakes decisions about teachers, principals and students for a minimum of two years. During this time, SED should continue to develop curricula aligned with higher standards and assist local school districts in developing their own curricula so teachers can successfully implement higher learning standards and help students reach their maximum potential.
“In addition, students, parents, teachers, privacy experts and school administrators have raised serious concerns about the ability of unauthorized third-parties to access personally identifiable information (PII) of students, teachers and principals that will be collected on the state-wide Education Data Portal (EDP). Therefore, we reiterate our call for the Regents to delay operation of the Education Data Portal for at least one year.
“In the end, our goal must continue to be the development of higher learning standards in the best interest of our students and their futures.”