ALBANY – Saying it’s time to fix New York’s broken Common Core education program, Gov. Cuomo on Thursday said he would appoint a commission to recommend changes.
While expressing support for the program’s goals, Cuomo said the state Education Department’s implementation of the Common Core curriculum was “deeply flawed” and the entire system needs to be overhauled.
“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,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The current Common Core program does not do that. It must.”
Cuomo said he sympathized with the frustration of parents. Nearly 20% of students across New York opted out of Common Core tests during the last school year.
The governor said his commission will review the entire program – including the standards, curriculum, guidance and tests – and issue recommendations before his State of the State Address in January.
“The Governor’s point on reforming Common Core is that SED’s implementation was flawed and therefore the solution is not to ask SED to fix the problem they created but rather pass a new law that revamps the system designed with all stakeholders at the table: administrators, teachers, parents, legislators, and education experts,” Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa said.
New State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who took office in July, said she has already been meeting with educators and parents about changes to the program and looked forward to receiving input from Cuomo’s panel.
“At every one of those meetings, I have stressed the need for high standards for all students,” Elia said. “I have also stressed the need to review the State’s learning standards – not only because the law requires me to undertake such a review, but also because it’s the right thing to do for our students.”
City teachers union President Mike Mulgrew praised Cuomo’s move.
“Gov. Cuomo has started listening to teachers and parents who know firsthand how flawed the implementation of the Common Core has been in New York State,” Mulgrew said in a statement.
Cuomo’s announcement marks the second time in less than two years that he has formed a panel to deal with the much-maligned Common Core.
In early 2014, a Cuomo-formed panel issued a set of proposals, including a ban on standardized testing in early grades, which had largely already been implemented by state lawmakers.