© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cuomo: Common Core Implementation "Deeply Flawed"

Mike Groll

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered a comprehensive review of the state’s implementation of Common Core.

Common Core education standards have been adopted by 42 states, including Connecticut and New York. In New York, Common Core standards have been implemented through new curriculum and standardized tests in English and Math.

In a statement released on Thursday, Cuomo said the State Education Department’s implementation of Common Core has been “deeply flawed,” and that it must be fixed.

Cuomo said he’s appointing an Education Commission of parents, teachers, experts, lawmakers, and the new Commissioner of Education, MaryEllen Elia, to review Common Core. He said the commission will offer recommendations early next year.

Cuomo said he sympathizes with the parents who chose to have their children opt out of this year's Common Core-aligned math and English tests. Twenty percent of 3rd through 8th graders skipped the tests in April.

"For the last couple of years, superintendents and principals and teachers and parents have been saying there’s something flawed with the way in which the Common Core has been implemented," said Roberta Gerold, a former President of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association. "So it’s with great relief that I read his comment because maybe we can move on and we can get into place something that works for kids. It’s very exciting to me."

Gerold is the Superintendent of the Middle Country Central School District on Long Island. She said Cuomo's statement was well-timed.

"I’m already getting test refusals from parents," Gerold said. "It would be wonderful if the parents could say, ‘I will be hopeful that there’s a governor that’s listening to our concerns that the state education department will be given the authority to create a plan that really works.'"

New York Board of Regents member Roger Tilles of Long Island said the State Education Department had to implement Common Core according to a law signed by Cuomo in 2010, which has been updated twice since then.

“The state education department has done what the Governor and the Legislature in law has required them and the regents to do. Where we’ve had flexibility we’ve tried to use it. But this is a law-driven exercise that the state education department has had to go along with.”

Tilles said the Board of Regents has been planning to suggest changes to the law, and now he thinks Cuomo will be open to them.

“Many legislators that I’ve talked to have been looking for the regents to try to address some of the issues, so I think they’ll be positive about the changes suggested," Tilles said. "The Governor has never indicated that before, and that’s why I think that’s an encouraging sign and hopeful for meaningful change.”

Tilles says if the state law that implements Common Core doesn’t change, then he would expect to see more parents opting their kids out of Common Core-aligned state tests next year.

Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including the founding producer of the weekly talk show, The Full Story.
Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.