Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, February 7, 2014

Taking A Closer Look At Andrew Cuomo's Rigged Common Core Panel

Via State of Politics, here is the Common Core panel list:

The panel’s members are:
  • Stanley S. Litow, Vice President, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs & President, IBM International Foundation (Chair)
  • Senator John Flanagan, Senate Education Committee Chair (Senate appointee)
  • Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Assembly Education Committee Chair (Assembly appointee)
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education, Stanford University Graduate School of Education
  • Todd Hathaway, Teacher, East Aurora High School (Erie County)
  • Alice Jackson-Jolley, Parent (Westchester County)
  • Anne Kress, President, Monroe Community College
  • Nick Lawrence, Teacher, East Bronx Academy for the Future (NYC)
  • Delia Pompa, Senior Vice President of Programs, National Council of La Raza
  • Charles Russo, Superintendent, East Moriches UFSD (Long Island)
  • Dan Weisberg, EVP & General Counsel, The New Teacher Project

As Leonie Haimson pointed out, Litow is a proponent of CCSS (he wrote an opinion piece stating New York must not abandon the Common Core.)

So we have a CCSS proponent chairing the panel.

John Flanagan, head of the Senate Education Committee, was endorsing Common Core as late as last August, though he has recently stepped back a bit from that as the political pressure has mounted and has called for a delay in their use for high stakes.

Cathy Nolan is also a supporter of the Common Core standards, though like Flanagan, she has called for a delay in their use for high stakes.

Linda Darling-Hammond has given some support to CCSS, though she has criticized the process by which the standards were developed as well as expressed concerns around the CCSS testing and the way CCSS has been implemented.

Todd Hathaway is a teacher from Erie County who has publicly testified against the testing as imposed by SED and the Regents.

Alice Jackson-Jolley is the daughter of a Pataki "pal" who said this about CCSS:

Jackson-Jolley said she has an open mind about the Common Core, in particular how it has been introduced in New York. But she said that she wants her two daughters, 10 and 7, who attend North Salem schools, to receive a more challenging public-school education than what she received.“I hope they get an education that is rigorous, challenges them, and inspires them, so they never feel they are skating through,” she said. “When they get to college and beyond, I want them to feel prepared and competitive.”

Don't want to say she sounds definitively like a CCSS supporter, but she's throwing around the kind of CCSS buzzwords ("rigorous" and "competitive") you hear from pro-CCSS supporters.

Nick Lawrence is a member of Educators4Excellence who testified he supports the Common Core.

Delia Pompa is senior VP for programs at La Raza, an organization that has supported CCSS even as it has expressed concern over how CCSS implementation will affect Latino students.

Anne Kress, President of Monroe Community College says there are no problems with the Common Core standards as standards - she thinks they're just swell.

Charles Russo is a district superintendent who testified he loves Common Core and the EngageNY modules.

Dan Weisberg is an education reformer who runs an education reform outfit that is pro-CCSS and just recently wrote this:

Back in the fall, we noted that teachers unions in New York appeared to be resorting to Tea Party tactics in an attempt to bully Governor Andrew Cuomo and Education Commissioner John King into backtracking on two of their signature achievements: Implementing a state law that requires better teacher evaluation systems, and adopting the Common Core State Standards, a set of more ambitious and coherent learning standards for students.

What has happened in the months since? Despite all the maneuvering, Cuomo and King haven’t backed down. In fact, Cuomo reiterated his focus on these achievements in his State of the State address last week, pointing to the evaluation law as a success story and proposing to use the results from evaluations to award bonuses of up to $20,000 to the state’s highest-rated teachers.


What’s happening in New York is an important lesson for leaders across the country: If you’re serious about education reform, be prepared to fend off a steady stream of political attacks from both sides of the aisle, even after your policies have been adopted.

Fortunately, Governor Cuomo and Commissioner King don’t scare easily, and they finish what they start. They’re setting a commendable example by sticking to their principles in the face of all these attacks. Here’s hoping they keep it up, for the sake of the millions of students in New York who will benefit from higher standards.

Does this sound like the kind of panel that is going to give us anything but a pre-determined conclusion that the Common Core State (sic) Standards are wonderful and if the implementation has been slightly screwy, well, that's the kind of thing you have to deal with when you're doing large-scale reform?

You can bet that whatever conclusions they reach on the CCSS, they will reiterate how swell CCSS are and how we must keep going forward (although they may suggest a slightly slower timeline than the one King and Tisch have us on now.)

In short, the panel is rigged for the pro-Common Core outcome Sheriff Andy Cuomo wants.


  1. How many ways can you screw teachers, ruin children's education through excessive testing, and put more nails in the coffin of public schools? Just look at the panel and you'll find the answer.

    I thought the NYC DoE PEP was horrible and school-tone deaf. Sadly, now comes this panel of CCCS proponents. It seems as though it's going from bad dreams to hellish nightmares. OMG, I hope we all wake up soon from these nightmares.

    1. Actually, the more Cuomo tries to rig this, the more people will rebel. Had he taken a honest tack, the panel would have had some credibility. But by rigging it with almost all CCSS supporters (and quite a few APPR supporters), ultimately he throws more fuel on the anti-CCSS/anti-APPR bonfire.

  2. Andrew Cuomo has once again shown the parents and teachers of New York State that he cares only about his political ambitions! He owes more to "big money" than the children he claims to be protecting!

    1. That's it in a nutshell. Same can be said for Obama too, especially when it comes to ed policy.