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New York Education Department Proposing New Learning Standards

New York's education department will propose to its board of regents early next year an overhaul to the state's learning standards, according to the Associated Press

The department's new learning standards are dramatically different from Common Core State Standards, the department said. That's largely in response to an opt-out movement sparked two years ago by parents' frustration with overtesting and the state's use of common-core standards.

In 2015, the board of regents, which oversees K-12 schools, instituted a four-year moratorium on test scores being used in teacher evaluations. And the state did not renew its contract with the testing company, Pearson, to administer the tests after controversies involving both the writing and administration of the exams.

Then, in March of this year, state legislators replaced three of the regents, including Chancellor Merryl Tisch, whose term was up after two decades on the board and a term as chancellor that started in 2009. She had been among those leading the push to adopt the new standards and use test scores to evaluate teachers.

Despite the changes, more than a fifth of the state's eligible students opted out of the exams this year, presenting a challenge to department officials who will have to comply with the proposed federal regulation that mandates at least a 95 percent participation rate of eligible students.  

The department's proposed English/Language Arts standards are 60 percent different from its previously adopted common-core standards, and 55 percent of its math standards are different, according to the department.  The department also refers to the new standards as "NYS English and Mathematics Learning Standards" rather than common-core standards.  

"Dedicated teachers, parents, and educators from across the state put in countless hours to develop these new draft standards," said New York Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. "I thank our review committee members for taking the time to propose meaningful changes to improve the state's learning standards. Teachers will be able to use these standards as a basis for developing their curricula and lesson plans to meet the needs of students in their classroom."  

The board is set to vote on the standards in early 2017.  

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