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Education

Governor's Common Core Task Force calls for overhaul of learning standards

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WBFO News file photo
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Governor Andrew Cuomo's Common Core Task Force is calling for a complete overhaul of the Learning Standards. The Task Force issued 21 recommendations late Thursday afternoon.

The recommendations includes calling for an end to using the current Common Core standards to evaluate teachers. The state's largest teachers union has fought hard against the controversial learning standards, saying teachers should not be evaluated through student testing.

New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee tells WBFO's Eileen Buckley this is a victory.

"First and foremost Eileen, this is a celebratory moment for the students of New York State. They are the true winners here," stated Magee. "It's really a very exciting time." 

Magee said the recommendations call for New York teachers to help develop and shape the standards. 

"New York teachers will be developing New York standards and they will have a hand in shaping those standards," noted Magee.

The Task Force completed its work after listening to thousands of parents, educators and students across the state. 

The recommendations call to reduce the number of tests given to students in an effort to reduce anxiety. 

But Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore is still skeptical about the Governor's efforts. 

"I'll believe it when I see it," said Rumore in a WBFO News interview. Rumore said it is just one small step to change the controversial standards, but he remains outraged that children are being over tested.

"What we are mostly concerned about is what I call the institutionalized child abuse of what we are doing to our kids. Brutalizing our kids with the standardized tests, which is making them dislike school," replied Rumore.

Rumore said there won't be a victory until students are not longer subjected to overtesting. 

District Parent Coordinating Council President Samuel Radford was a Task Force member. 

"I'm excited that we are at a new place. I'm really happy with the work that has been done. I'm glad the Governor was responsive and we are moving forward. Hopefully we can get everyone on the same page," said Radford. 

Radford noted the next step is to follow through and make sure the recommendations get implemented.  Radford said New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia was a Task Force member and that should make a difference in accomplishing the changes. 

The recommendations called the state implementation flawed. 

“After listening to thousands of parents, educators and students, the Task Force has made important recommendations that include overhauling the Common Core, adopting new locally-designed high quality New York standards, and greatly reducing testing and testing anxiety for our students. The Common Core was supposed to ensure all of our children had the education they needed to be college and career-ready – but it actually caused confusion and anxiety. That ends now. Today, we will begin to transform our system into one that empowers parents, teachers and local districts and ensures high standards for all students. I thank the Task Force members for their thorough work. Together we will ensure that New York’s schools provide the world-class education that our children deserve," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The following are some of the Task Force's 21 recommendations including:

  • · Overhauling the Common Core and adopting locally-driven high quality New York education standards with input from local districts, educators, and parents through a transparent and open process that are age-appropriate and allow educators flexibility for Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners.
  • · Establishing a transparent and open process by which New York standards are periodically reviewed by educators and content area experts, since educators know their schools and students best.
  • · Providing educators and local school districts with the flexibility to develop and tailor curriculum to meet the needs of their individual students and requiring the State to create and release new and improved curriculum resources that educators can then adapt to meet the needs of their individual students.
  • · Engaging New York educators, not a private corporation, to drive the review and creation of State standards-aligned tests in an open and transparent manner.
  • · Minimizing student testing anxiety by reducing the number of test days and test questions and providing ongoing test transparency to parents, teachers and districts on test questions and student test scores.· Ensuring that State tests account for different types of learners, including Students with Disabilities and English Language Learners.
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