Long Island educators and parents Wednesday denounced Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's proposed panel to review the rollout of the Common Core academic standards, repeating calls for an immediate moratorium and saying the state's schoolchildren are being harmed by a hasty, flawed process.
"Maybe you just have to bite the bullet and stop it for a period of time," said Roberta Gerold, president of the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association and superintendent of the Middle Country school district.
Jeanette Deutermann of Bellmore -- who has taken an activist role among the Island's parents on education reforms, especially regarding state tests -- said: "It's a little too late. Meanwhile, all these kids are being hurt and the testing is coming up. Why not pause?"
The fresh calls for a halt were a reiteration of a chorus that has reverberated for months across the Island and the state, coming from parents, teachers, superintendents and school administrators, the New York State PTA and New York State United Teachers, the state's largest teacher union. Some key lawmakers, including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), have weighed in similarly.
Meanwhile SED Commissioner King got beaten up badly before the State Senate Education Committee:
If state Education Commissioner John King doesn't slow or delay the state's rollout of Common Core standard tests, lawmakers will do it for him, members of the Senate Education Committee said Thursday at a hearing that suggested a showdown and power struggle between the commissioner, who reports to the appointed Board of Regents, and the Legislature.
"Hit the delay button — hit it," said Sen. George Latimer, a Westchester Democrat, who, like his counterparts in both parties urged King to delay some of the testing that is part of the new curriculum standard and which is also being used to help evaluate teachers.
"Please do not force this body... to have to come up with a legislative solution," said Sen. Jack Martins, a Long Island Republican.
King said while there may be some "flexibility" to the SED reform agenda, the core of that agenda will remain in place - including the implementation scheduling and the tests.
It's starting to look like King, Tisch, SED, the Regents and their cadre of edu-entrepreneurs and education reformers vs. everybody else in the state.
And yet, King, Tisch, et al. are still getting their way on this - with an assist from the governor, of course, who is backing them despite some slight public statements to the contrary.
Despite all the rising opposition, we have a long way to go yet until we can put the CCSS and its ancillary reforms into the dustbin of education history.
But the trajectory is clearly no longer in the education reform movement's favor.