From today’s Poughkeepsie Journal
Assembly set to delay Common Core today
By Joseph Spector
Journal Albany bureau
ALBANY — The state Assembly has introduced legislation to delay the use of the Common Core testing standards on students’ grades and teachers’ evaluation, the latest move by state officials to address the outcry over the controversial program.
The bill (A.08929) is set for approval by the Democratic- led Assembly today, Assembly officials said. “The implementation of the Common Core has caused significant challenges that have strained our school districts, administrators, teachers, parents and, most importantly, students,” the bill states. The bill would delay much of the Common Core testing, particularly for third through eighth grades, from being used in evaluating the performance of students and teachers for two years. After its first year last school year, Common Core testing led to a major drop in test results. The legislation would order the state Education Department commissioner to look at ways to eliminate some testing and ban standardized tests in kindergarten through second grade. The bill would also delay the implementation of an online-data portal to collect student information until July 2015. And it would give parents the right to opt out their students from participating in the portal, which has been met with skepticism about whether it would be secure. The portal was set to start in September.
“This legislation will provide much needed adjustments relating to Common Core implementation, teacher evaluations and student data privacy to alleviate some of the strain experienced by our teachers, school administrators and, most importantly, students,” the bill says.
The bill, sponsored by Assembly Education Committee chairwoman Cathy Nolan, D-Queens, doesn’t yet have a Senate sponsor, and it complirequirements cates an effort by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Board of Regents to address Common Core concerns.
The Board of Regents voted Feb. 11 to delay Common Core graduation for five years, but tabled a change to the state’s teacher-evaluation system until April after it drew criticism by Cuomo. For his part, Cuomo has established a Common Core review panel, and he has urged education officials and the Legislature to hold off on any changes until the panel reports back. But there is some urgency, education advocates said: Another round of testing in schools is set for April.The Legislature could overstep the Board of Regents’ changes by adopting a new law, and the Senate, controlled by a group of Republicans and Democrats, have said it too supports a delay on the use of the new testing on grades and evaluations. Joseph Spector: firstname.lastname@example.org
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