State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) wants to delay implementing tough, new academic standards known as the Common Core, calling its rollout "terribly executed."
The education program, adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, was created with the goal of better preparing students for college and the workforce.
But thousands of Long Island parents told state education leaders at raucous town hall meetings last year that the program requires too much testing and leaves children feeling discouraged.
"It is a major issue in my Senate District," Zeldin said in a statement. "Securing a delay remains my top education priority."
Zeldin joins Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has also called for the delay of Common Core, and other state legislators looking to halt the program at least temporarily.
Zeldin said participation in Common Core has caused the state to give up local control, and teachers were not prepared for its implementation.
"When voicing my opposition to Common Core, I have been told by some that we 'just need to give it time,' " said Zeldin, who will challenge Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) later this year. "I oppose that line of thinking. Our students are not guinea pigs and this experiment needs to stop."
The response from SED?
The usual boilerplate:
"Turning away from the Common Core would put our students at a severe disadvantage, not only with the rest of the nation but with the rest of the world," said New York State Education Department spokesman Jonathan Burman.
It remains to be seen how much real change to the SED/reform agenda happens through the Legislature.
We know Cuomo continues to back the agenda, even if he doesn't have the guts to say so openly.
Silver has said publicly he backs SED Commissioner King and "has confidence" in Merryl Tisch.
So a lot more pressure needs to be applied to the politicians in Albany to get this train wreck cleaned up.
But pols like Zelden, who come from districts where many parents are up in arms over the reform agenda, are certainly getting the message loud and clear.