New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Thursday admitting that the implementation of the Common Core is deeply flawed, and pledging to assemble a group to review the controversial education standards and make recommendations to improve them.
The statement harshly critiqued the implementation of the standards, and Cuomo expressed sympathy for frustrated parents who have taken issue with the Common Core.
He stopped short, however, of disparaging the standards, saying that he still “agree[s] with the goal of Common Core Standards.”
Cuomo’s statement comes after news in August that a record number of students in New York opted out of statewide standardized tests this year.
Roughly 20% of students opted out of exams, quadrupling the number from the previous year, and indicated that the movement to boycott the tests linked to the Common Core standards had some success.
The Common Core State Standards are a controversial set of nationwide education standards that were developed in 2009 through a joint effort between state leaders and private Washington groups with the intent to strengthen standards and improve learning outcomes of students across the US.
This development in Albany’s stance on the Common Core is particularly surprising since it has not been on the fringe in terms of its support for the standards, though there has been vocal opposition from teachers unions and parents.
Read below for the full statement:
There has been an ongoing discussion about Common Core Standards nationwide, and in this state as well. 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.
A growing chorus of experts have questioned the intelligence of SED’s Common Core program and objective educators across the state have found the implementation problematic, to say the least. The new Commissioner of Education has inherited this problem and I understand has been meeting with parents, educators and students, and has heard the same concerns. Recently, SED has made comments about organized efforts to have parents choose to opt out of standardized tests. While I understand the issue and SED’s valid concern, I sympathize with the frustration of the parents.
We must have standards for New York’s students, but those standards will only work if people – especially parents – have faith in them and in their ability to educate our children. The current Common Core program does not do that. It must.
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. I am taking this action not because I don’t believe in standards, but because I do.
In the past, I employed an Education Commission to make substantive, unbiased recommendations on reforms to our education system. It has worked very well. I will ask a representative group from that Commission, including education experts, teachers, parents, the Commissioner of Education and legislative representatives to review the issues raised above and provide recommendations in time for my State of the State Address in January.