ALBANY—Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the closest thing there is to a plausible Republican challenger to New York's Democratic governor this year, took the opportunity at an impromptu press conference Wednesday to blast what he called "Cuomo's Common Core."
And in fact Governor Andrew Cuomo beat him to the punch Tuesday, criticizing the state's rollout of the Common Core curriculum standards in his budget address and announcing his plans to appoint an expert panel to look into changing it.
It is a testament to the rough rollout of the Common Core agenda in New York, and perhaps even more so to the poor marketing of it, that there should be such unanimity of political opinion about it.
Cuomo's solution to deal with the CCSS issue is to send it to a committee to be studied.
That's not a real solution to the Common Core problem.
Astorino doesn't sound like he gets the problem of the Common Core right either:
In his press conference, Astorino blamed Governor Andrew Cuomo for a “terrible” rollout of the standards, saying that “Cuomo's Common Core has been an awful mistake in this state.”
“I think Common Core needs some major changes,” he said. “There are elements of it … The standardized testing and elevating education is a good thing. But teaching to a test, which is going to unfortunately leave kids who are right on the edge, or who are struggling—they're going to get swept away in this.
“You're going to have school districts who, I think, are going to lose good teachers because of this, and school districts are going to struggle to keep up with this. It needs to be completely revamped,” he continued.
So standardized testing is good?
He doesn't seem to realize part of the rebellion over the Core has been because of all the ancillary testing - some of it arriving as part of the CCSS implementation, but most of it arriving because Andrew Cuomo mandated it as part of his APPR teacher evaluation system.
Nor does he seem to realize that teaching to the test is the deal when schools, administrators and teachers are all evaluated using high stakes standardized tests.
Quite frankly, I don't think Astorino knows what the hell he is talking about when it comes to CCSS - he simply wants to tar Cuomo with it and ride the anti-CCSS wave.
Alas, his opposition to it is half-baked at best (Common Core bad/standardized testing good!) and certainly not the kind of thing I can get behind.
How about you?