The important thing to know about today’s NYT story about the Common Core is that it about New York – and only New York. It’s the full New York Times treatment, though with a misleading headline, of the New York Board of Regents decision I reported here a few days ago. New York had leaped into the deep end of the Common Core pool, making its own new Common Core test high-stakes for students and teachers before the new standards were even in classrooms, and had to back down. New Hampshire knew better and hasn’t had the problems they have in New York. As a result, our educators have been enthusiastic supporters.
Here’s a bit from the Times piece:
Carol Burris, an acclaimed high school principal on Long Island, calls the Common Core a “disaster.”
“We see kids,” she said, “they don’t want to go to school anymore.”
Leaders of both parties in the New York Legislature want to rethink how the state uses the Common Core.
The statewide teachers’ union withdrew its support for the standards last month until “major course corrections” took place.
“There are days I think, ‘Oh my God, we have to slow this thing down, there are so many problems,’ ” said Catherine T. Nolan, a Queens Democrat who is chairwoman of the State Assembly Education Committee.
The objections in New York have become so loud, and have come from such a wide political spectrum, that even the governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, has become a critic. Governor Cuomo has called the state’s execution of the standards “flawed” and appointed a panel to recommend changes.
Few in New York are calling for abandoning the standards. And state officials have not backed out of a national consortium developing exams based on the standards, as their counterparts in states like Georgia and Oklahoma have. No state that adopted the standards has gone so far as to withdraw from them.
The loudest of the complaints is based on New York’s decision not to wait for those new Common Core exams, which are expected to make their debut in 2015, but to begin testing students on the new standards last year. Teachers said they had not been fully trained in the new curriculums, and had not received new textbooks and teaching materials; many still did not have them in the fall. As the tests changed, the scores plummeted: Less than a third of the state’s students passed.
In Albany, leaders of both houses of the Legislature called this month for a two-year moratorium on the use of Common Core test scores in teacher evaluations and in decisions about student promotions or admissions. The state teachers’ union has asked for a three-year pause. The state Board of Regents, which oversees education policy and is appointed by the Legislature, has already voted to delay by five years the date by which all high school graduates must pass Common Core-aligned Regents exams.