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Proposed bills aim to address issues with Common Core

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Lawmakers will introduce a package of bills during the 2014 Legislative Session that aim to address issues concerning the Common Core learning standards.The four proposals include a piece of legislation being called the “Truth-In-Testing” bill. It would require the State Education Commissioner to report on the effectiveness of Common Core state tests and require an independent audit to review and evaluate the testing program. 

The second is a law being called the “P-2” bill. If passed, it would ban standardized testing on students in Pre-K through 2nd grade. State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer is co-sponsoring the bills.

“The purpose was, at least for the younger students, take away some of that pressure that they experience in the very early stages of their learning career. Some will say that we should have gone further, others will say that we went too far, but I personally thought this was a very good start to try to scale back some of the testing that’s being done, that’s being required, by Common Core,” said Ranzenhofer.

Ranzenhofer says another proposal is being called the “Privacy” bill. It establishes civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure information stored on the statewide database “inBloom,” and creates independent oversight within the New York State Education Department on matters related to privacy.

“This was a universal concern. I think everybody agrees that this type of data really should not be released. This is private information to be used to make the student better, to make the teacher better, and it should be exclusive for that particular purpose,” said Ranzenhofer.

Ranzenhofer says the fourth piece of legislation called the “Unnecessary Testing” bill would require the State Education Commissioner to expedite a review of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans to eliminate unnecessary testing on students.

“We didn’t try to solve all of the world’s problems with Common Core with these particular pieces of legislation. These pieces of legislation dealt with a very, very small segment of the education community,” said Ranzenhofer.

Ranzenhofer says he hopes the proposals open the door to other conversations about how to improve the Common Core learning standards.