New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared Thursday that Common Core is “not working” in the state and is in need of a major overhaul.
“I have said repeatedly my position is that while I agree with the goal of Common Core Standards, I believe the implementation by the State Education Department (SED) has been deeply flawed. The more time goes on, the more I am convinced of this position,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The fact is that the current Common Core program in New York is not working, and must be fixed. To that end, the time has come for a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Common Core Standards, curriculum, guidance and tests in order to address local concerns.”
Cuomo plans to assemble a state commission to evaluate Common Core and recommend changes. He says the standards will only work if “people – especially parents – have faith in them and in their ability to educate our children.” Currently, that faith is lacking, he said.
Cuomo’s statements come in the wake of increasingly intense opposition to the state’s new Common Core-aligned standardized tests, regarded as some of the country’s most demanding. Almost 20 percent of students refused to take the tests last spring, the biggest test boycott in the country by far. (RELATED: One In Five NY Students Skipped Common Core Tests)
Cuomo blamed the implementation of Common Core for the problems he sees rather than the standards themselves. But his sharp criticism is bad news for Common Core, which has endured heavy attacks from the right but has mostly enjoyed consistent support from Democratic lawmakers. While a few Republican-run states such as Oklahoma and South Carolina have moved to replace or substantially modify Common Core in the past two years, no Democrat-dominated states have done so.
Now, New York may become the first.
Cuomo’s statement didn’t indicate what changes he believes are necessary to fix Common Core. Every aspect of the Core will be up for review, Cuomo said, including tests, standards, and the guidance the state offers to individual teachers.
Cuomo has offered limited criticism of Common Core in the past. Last year, he called for delaying the use of Common Core test results to evaluate teachers and schools, saying schools were not yet fully prepared. (RELATED: Cuomo Continues To Distance Himself From Common Core)
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