New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared on News 12 Long Island on January 7, and many residents protested to demand Cuomo put an end to the controversial Common Core learning standards.
Those opposed to Common Core said they wanted to remind the governor that even with last week’s elimination of a duplicate math exam, they are still not satisfied with the new standards, the lack of funding, and the increase in high-stakes testing.
In October, New York was granted a federal waiver to cut back on math tests for students in 7th and 8th grade. Parents and residents were critical when they found out the children would take two math tests, a Regents exam, and a state exam, which cut down on actual learning and instruction time. Now they will only take the Regents test.
Breitbart News reported the state of New York is considering a delay of Common Core and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) expects the state Board of Regents to improve or delay the program:
“I think the case has been made, if nothing else, for a delay and a reevaluation of the implementation of Common Core,” Silver said. “The problem with it is… No. 1, it was suddenly put upon teachers and students and administrators and schools. The support for it was not forthcoming as quickly as the rigors of Common Core, and the training wasn’t there for a lot of the teachers that are charged with using it as the basis for their education…”
The Regents signed on to the controversial standards in 2010. However, as Breitbart News reported last August, student test scores on the new Common Core-aligned assessments plummeted. The results found that in New York City alone, 26 percent of students in third through eighth grade passed the new English exam and only 30 percent passed the math test, compared to 47 percent and 60 percent, respectively, in the previous year.
Parent groups are calling for the resignation of state education commissioner John King, while the unions are upset Cuomo did not mention Common Core in his State of the State address Wednesday night. In November, the Northport-East Northport school board sent a letter to King that asked for new and better ways to implement Common Core.
In December, members of the board voted unanimously to endorse a letter to the Suffolk County Superintendents Association with concerns about how Common Core is implemented. They also voted to send a letter to Cuomo. At the meeting, the officials, including Matthew Nelson, assistant superintendent for instruction and administration, also discussed what would happen if a student decided to opt out of the statewide tests:
At Monday’s meeting, Norwood Avenue elementary school parent Nora Beck asked what would happen if a child opts out of taking state tests. Nelson said that students who attend school but don’t take the test “are not punished in any way… but when a student comes to school on the day of the test, they’re going to sit with the test.”