Recent adjustments by the New York State Education Department to the Obama administration’s controversial Common Core education reform are viewed as both concessions by proponents of the program and further causes for protest among opponents.
Among other alterations, the state education department announced Feb. 10 that full implementation of the Common Core program—which has been panned by parents, teachers and students across the country and on Long Island for being too tough, flawed and detrimental to students’ academic and physiological well-being, among other concerns—would be delayed until 2022 instead of its previously planned 2017 deadline. That means students and teachers will not be held to the stricter standards of Common Core, under which instructors face more stringent accountability and risk termination for under-performing pupils who do not reach specific academic benchmarks set by the program, for an additional five years later than originally expected.
The new measures were adopted, according to the education department, as a direct result of a state Board of Regents report from a work group recommending such changes, titled “Adjustment Options to Common Core Implementation,” detailing the flawed roll-out of Common Core and members’ reasoning for such a drastic shift.
“We have listened to the concerns of parents and teachers,” stated NYS Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch the day the adjustments were announced. “We’ve heard the concerns expressed at the hearings and forums, and we regret that the urgency of our work, and the unevenness of implementation, have caused frustration and anxiety for some of our educators, students, and their families.”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE PRESS COVER STORY ABOUT LONG ISLAND PARENTS AND TEACHERS’ OPPOSITION TO COMMON CORE AND HERE TO READ ABOUT STANDARDIZED, A NEW DOCUMENTARY WHICH TAKES THE BATTLE OVER THE PROGRAM TO THE BIG SCREEN
Besides a reduction in local testing used to rate teacher performance, the new plan also calls for the elimination of standardized tests for grades K through second that are tied to teacher evaluations, caps the instructional time that can be used for local assessments used to inform teacher evaluations at 1 percent, and creates an “expedited review process” for teachers to use.
Mainstream media has exploded with excited headlines proclaiming the news.
Yet, what’s not getting as much ink is that detractors are far from satisfied with the postponement, citing continued privacy concerns regarding the sharing of student records with inBloom—an Atlanta, Georgia-based technology nonprofit which stores and consolidates students’ information from school districts across the country—and a continuation of standardized testing tied to teacher evaluations for third grade and up. In summary, they contend, the new changes are inadequate—they do not go far enough.