February 2014 was a wild month for the Common Core standards in New York state, as the governor, the Board of Regents, and the state Legislature all turned their attention to the way the standards are being implemented.
While some prominent educators, including Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, are in favor of the Common Core State Standards, a significant number of teachers, activists, and parents have taken issue with the high-stakes testing being implemented alongside them. The impact of the new Common Core exams on teacher evaluations is a contentious issue, especially given the lack of adequate training and resources for educators.
Then there is the cost: given the funding required to institute Common Core and the accompanying exams, many states are reconsidering their embrace of the standards. Recently, the Kansas State Board of Education announced plans to drop out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium; several other states, such as Georgia and Alabama, have also withdrawn from their consortiums. Meanwhile some states, such as Arizona, Iowa, and Florida, have gone as far as to “rebrand” the standards, in an attempt to avoid the negative publicity surrounding Common Core.
The chaotic situation in New York may be indicative of the way Common Core is being received—and reconsidered—in all states that have adopted the standards. How is the rollout going in your state? Please let us know by email ing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And public librarians, don’t forget to take our Common Core Resource Selection survey (www.publishersweekly.com/ccsurvey)!
June 8, 2013
The New York State Union of Teachers (NYSUT) organizes a “One Voice United” rally for teachers, parents, community members, and students to take a stand for public education in Albany. An estimated 25,000 people attend the rally.
Oct. 10, 2013
New York State Education Commissioner John King addresses a loud, angry crowd of parents, teachers, and community members at the first of five scheduled public meetings on the Common Core standards. The next day King cancels the following four meetings. After outcries from parents and lawmakers, the remaining forums are reinstated, but in different locations.
Dec. 6, 2013
Thousands of New Yorkers participate in a day of action to reclaim public education. The initiative was organized by more than 100 groups, including the American Federation of Teachers.
Jan. 21, 2014
In a bombshell announcement during his 2014–2015 budget presentation to the state Legislature, Governor Cuomo says he will seek changes to New York state’s “flawed Common Core implementation.” Among the proposed changes is a ban on standardized testing for students in kindergarten through second grade.
Jan. 25, 2014
NYSUT approves a resolution that withdraws its earlier support for the Common Core standards as “implemented and interpreted” by the New York State Education Department. The resolution also declares “no confidence” in the policies of Education Commissioner King, and calls for a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences from standardized testing.
Feb. 10, 2014
The New York State Board of Regents adjusts the Common Core implementation in New York state. The full implementation of the standards is postponed until 2022; the private company InBloom is delayed from collecting student data; and the board offers protection for students and teachers from the impact of “assessment transition.”
Feb. 14, 2014
The Board of Regents votes to delay Common Core implementation as previously announced, but tables the proposed changes to the state’s teacher evaluation system, after Governor Cuomo publicly denounces the proposals.
Feb. 28, 2014
Democratic lawmakers in the state Assembly begin to draft a bill that would delay the impact of Common Core on teacher evaluations, as originally proposed by the Board of Regents, against the wishes of Governor Cuomo.