Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that he hopes to create an advisory board for the implementation of the controversial Common Core curriculum and stop standardized testing for children below third grade, drawing sighs of relief from local education activists who have been critical of the rollout.
“Any progress is great progress,” said Heather Ann Fiorica, the president of the District 21’s Community Education Council. “Now more people are talking about it because of Cuomo.”
Fiorica and CEC21 challenged the curriculum’s implementation during a meeting last week, passing a resolution asking the state to slow down the rollout, relieve the testing burden on special needs students and provide more training to teachers and faculty.
In response to the news, Fiorica, who is a parent herself, also said the idea of an advisory panel was promising since it would “bring more awareness” to legislators and politicians and convince them that Common Core needs a few speed bumps.
Common Core is a new curriculum being adopted across the nation, drawing criticism from parents and teachers. It relies on more rigorous standardized testing, and teachers in New York say they have not received proper training or been informed of materials on the test.
“I support the Common Core agenda,” Cuomo said during his budget presentation on Tuesday. “But the way the Common Core has been managed by the Board of Regents is flawed. There’s too much uncertainty, confusion and anxiety.”
A panel of advisers as Cuomo is now promoting would, presumably, take these things into consideration and recommend “corrective action,” as Cuomo put it, for the new curriculum.
State Senator Marty Golden is also applauding the governor’s plan to change the way Common Core is implemented, and adds that he wants to see an end to standardized testing of children below the third grade.
“I applaud and agree with the Governor’s decision to suspend testing from Kindergarten to 2nd grade, and I am glad to see the Board of Regents concurs,” Golden said in a press release. “The entirety of the Common Core Curriculum must be reviewed, but nevertheless, standardized testing for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders is unnecessary.”
Cuomo said the advisory panel will issue a report before the end of Albany’s legislative session in June.