From the massive amount of media coverage lately I am sure you have heard the NYS legislature is debating placing a “moratorium” on consequences from Common Core testing. The discussion revolves around teachers, principals, and schools not being punished for low scores while New York slows down the implementation of the Common Core. Many questions arise from this debate:
1. Will Governor Cuomo veto any “delay” and if so, do both houses of the state legislature have enough votes to override the veto?
2. Most importantly: The state assessments aligned with the Common Core will still be given, meaning loss of instruction time this spring. We know the testing time-frame and design is inappropriate for all students in grades 3-8. Schools still will place importance on test results, which results in pressure continuing to be heaped on students and teachers.
If we are looking at suspending consequences, should not the testing be put aside as well? If the “implementation” is flawed, how can we proceed with Common Core testing for our students?
Here are two reactions to the “moratorium” call:
2. From Change the Stakes.
The possible Common Core delay might be good in the short-term, but will the reformers will use moratorium to save their harmful reforms. We need to keep pushing to end high stakes testing.
- Will the delay save Common Core and its increased testing?
- Will Common Core be “rebranded” in a moratorium?
- A new name for the standards?
Governor Cuomo has now created a Common Core “expert” panel to review the roll out of the standards. Only one true advocate seems to stand out on this committee: Todd Hathaway, a East Aurora HS Social Studies teacher. Mr. Hathaway is a strong union and public schools advocate who has worked with the Partnership for Smarter Schools and has testified at two commissions against high-stakes testing. We have to question why there is no elementary, special education, or early childhood teacher as part of this committee as those areas have been the hardest hit by the Common Core. Mr. Hathaway has his work cut out for him as the deck is stacked with Common Core supporters.
Why is there a need for this panel in the first place? Parents and educators have testified at numerous forums held separately by Commish King and local legislators across every corner of the Empire State. The teachers and parents who spoke out are the true “experts”, why not listen to them? This looks like another sham committee convened by Cuomo to appease the masses.
New York State Allies for Public’s reaction to the latest commission.
The bottom line is that any delay or moratorium will just put off the inevitable conclusion: The Common Core is a package deal: testing, standards, and data sharing. It is time to end this terrible experiment on our children. We need to revert back to the NYS Standards which have served us well for many years. If we remove the state assessments which have tied the hands of many educators, we can get back to what our schools should be: places of learning and exploration.
Connect with Chris Cerrone on twitter: @Stoptesting15