But when you take a closer look at just what steps these NY State politicians are taking to roll back the reform agenda, you see that they're really not rolling anything back at all:
Lawmakers will introduce a package of bills during the 2014 Legislative Session that aim to address issues concerning the Common Core learning standards.
The four proposals include a piece of legislation being called the “Truth-In-Testing” bill. It would require the State Education Commissioner to report on the effectiveness of Common Core state tests and require an independent audit to review and evaluate the testing program.
“The purpose was, at least for the younger students, take away some of that pressure that they experience in the very early stages of their learning career. Some will say that we should have gone further, others will say that we went too far, but I personally thought this was a very good start to try to scale back some of the testing that’s being done, that’s being required, by Common Core,” said Ranzenhofer.
Ranzenhofer says another proposal is being called the “Privacy” bill. It establishes civil and criminal penalties for unauthorized disclosure information stored on the statewide database “inBloom,” and creates independent oversight within the New York State Education Department on matters related to privacy.
“This was a universal concern. I think everybody agrees that this type of data really should not be released. This is private information to be used to make the student better, to make the teacher better, and it should be exclusive for that particular purpose,” said Ranzenhofer.
Ranzenhofer says the fourth piece of legislation called the “Unnecessary Testing” bill would require the State Education Commissioner to expedite a review of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans to eliminate unnecessary testing on students.
“We didn’t try to solve all of the world’s problems with Common Core with these particular pieces of legislation. These pieces of legislation dealt with a very, very small segment of the education community,” said Ranzenhofer.
Ranzenhofer says he hopes the proposals open the door to other conversations about how to improve the Common Core learning standards.
NYSED and the Regents have already agreed that P-2 testing is not such a good idea and they want to eliminate it, so there's nothing extraordinary about passing a bill to do what SED and the Regents say they already want to do.
The other three bills do little to address concerns over privacy, overtesting and the damages the CCSS curriculum and tests are causing to students, children and schools because they simply put more power into the hands of the already-too powerful SED.
Parents want an opt-out option for inBloom, but the privacy bill simply creates an "independent oversight within the New York State Education Department on matters related to privacy."
Given how little transparency and honesty there is at SED, with the secret Regents Fellows hired by private interests running the department, I don't exactly trust the any "independent oversight" entity that is created "within the New York State Education Department on matters related to privacy."
That sounds simply like some rubber stamp committee that will agree that anything SED Commissioner King and his merry men and women in reform do is swell and parents and teachers can have no complaints about it.
The same can be said for the "Truth-In-Testing" and"Unnecessary Testing" bills, which again give SED the authority to audit their own policies.
Sorry, Albany politicians, but students, parents and teachers are this naive - we know that giving SED the authority to audit itself and make sure its policies aren't leading to overtesting isn't going to change anything about the way children are overtested.
These are small measures being introduced in Albany to make it look the SED/Regents/Cuomo education reform agenda is being modified and changed.
But it isn't.
These small measures do little to nothing to mitigate the ravages and damages of the SED/Regents/Cuomo reform agenda and they will NOT stem the rising protests from students, parents and teachers around the state.
It is imperative that you let these politicians who think they're fooling you with this jive know that you know how little will actually change as a result of these bills if they are passed and signed into law.