Correcting the Common Core: Matt's Memo

Common Core protesters in 2013.

As soon as the New York State Board of Regents announced it was pulling back on the full implementation of Common Core standards and other testing issues Governor Andrew Cuomo responded with a statement in opposition to the change. The governor said in one paragraph that the Regents had gone too far, then in another line he said they did not go far enough.

Families and students, teachers and administrators are left with an uncertainty about where this empassioned debate is going over standardized testing and a theoretical elevation of standards. The Regents say they've responded to the concerns of the people who have been upset with the increased testing that has come at the expense of learning and creativity. The governor says hold on a second. He will appoint his own board of educational experts to figure out the right solution and then get the state legislature to approve new law.

This has been about as messy of a discussion on educational change that anyone can remember. The broad stroke of statewide changes has taken away opportunities for local rule. It fails to credit school districts that have done a good job. And, it does not acknowledge the challenges of poorer districts that have students walking in the door that are not prepared to learn because of life away from school.

It seems too often that these political leaders are more concerned about being the ones who get their way instead of finding a way to be sure children are afforded an opportunity to learn no matter where they live.


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