N.Y. Governor-Appointed Task Force: Rename Common Core, Reduce Testing
A governor-appointed task force in New York recommended Thursday that the state reevaluate and rename the Common Core learning standards, reduce the amount of testing in schools, and wait four years to factor those tests into teachers' evaluations.
Governor Andrew Cuomo organized the committee in September and charged it to "overhaul the Common Core system — to do a total reboot." The task force was made up of parents, educators, and the state's assembly and senate.
It was not tasked with evaluating whether tests should be used in teachers' evaluations, though it did so anyways. Earlier this year, Cuomo said the state's standardized tests should make up half of a teacher's evaluation but some of his administrators told The New York Times last month that he is backing off of that stance.
More than 20 percent of the state's students opted out of taking the state's standardized tests last year and teachers have detested the state's use of test scores in their evaluations.
New York is one of several states that have begun to review and, in many cases, replace their use of the common core standards developed by a coalition of policy groups.
"The Common Core was supposed to ensure all of our children had the education they needed to be college and career-ready," Cuomo said in a statement, "but it actually caused confusion and anxiety. That ends now."
The report, which has 21 recommendations, also asks that the state provide teachers more standards professional development, drastically reduce the amount of test taking in classrooms and gather student feedback on their testing experience.
The report drew praise from the state's teachers' union and several other advocacy organizations in the state.
"Today we celebrate momentous developments at the state and national level that open the door for a much needed transformation in public education," the New York State United Teachers said in a statement. "These changes are essential to end the high-stakes pressure that has eroded the joy of teaching and learning and narrowed the curriculum."