Testifying in front of the Senate Education Committee, Education Commissioner John King questioned the need for a delay of the Common Core or using the results to evaluate teachers. Some lawmakers have called for a delay in the program’s implementation.
“The question is to delay what, exactly?” King said. “Because the Common Core as a set of standards is something that is widely agreed upon. And in fact, in classrooms across the state … good things are happening in terms of Common Core instruction
King got some pushback from one state senator:
Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, said school officials within his district are unified in their criticism of the Common Core.Ah, but it doesn't matter what anybody other than John King, Merryl Tisch and their cadre of Regents Fellows and education reformers thinks when it comes to Common Core, testing, etc.
“School superintendents, principals, school administrators, parents, PTA groups, classroom teachers -- they all seem to be united in their opinion of the Common Core,” Maziarz said. “To me, those are experts that we are hearing from. Now, commissioner, to be frank with you, the people who seem to be supporting this are yourself and the members of the Board of Regents.”
Haven't the members of the Assemby and the State Senate seen enough evidence that King, Tisch, et al. feel that way and unless the Legislature steps in and forces meaningful changes to the SED/Regents reform agenda, nothing is going to change?
Certianly the education panel Cuomo vowed to put together on Tuesday to look into the Common Core implementation isn't going to do anything meaningful about these problems - it's just another jive committee/commission from a governor who specializes in jive committees/commissions when he has already decided on a policy but wants cover to impose it.
This is exactly what he did with the Moreland Commission and the earlier education reform commission chaired by the ex-Citibank guy.
Policies first, commissions to rubber-stamp policies and give cover after - that's Cuomo's motto.
And that's why King had the gall to go to the State Senate today and tell these politicians that everything is going swimmingly with the state's education reform agenda and he's not changing a thing no matter what parents, teachers or even the Legislators say.
Indeed, Regents Chancellor Tisch said this very thing:
"You can reopen pieces of the legislation to help reduce anxiety. That, I think, is public policy," she said on "The Capitol Pressroom," a public radio show. "But we need to understand that we need to get this right for students, parents, teachers and principals. We cannot walk away from the basic tenets of this reform."
In short, Tisch says it's okay to tinker at the margins, but the core of the reforms - Common Core, Endless Testing, inBloom data collection, APPR that forces CCSS to be taught - must stay.
So what will the Assembly and the State Senate do about all of this?
Will they surrender to what Tisch and King want, even though Tisch and the rest of the Regents are accountable to the Legislature?
At least some in Albany sound like they have had enough:
Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye, Westchester County, echoed calls to table the implementation of the Common Core, smacking a table as he urged King to “hit the delay button.”
In a statement, Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said the testimony Tuesday made clear the need for a “moratorium on the consequences for Common Core.”
“There is overwhelming evidence that we are moving at too fast a pace and not giving our teachers and students proper training in these new principles,” she said.
Now it remains to be seen if the Legislature as a whole can make Tisch and King - and the guy in the governor's office who is backing them up 100% - understand that they do not get impose education policies that have caused a growing rebellion across the state without accountability to the people of this state.
The Legislature is directly accountable to the people, so they're feeling the pressure in the way that Tisch and King certainly aren't, and Cuomo - well, he only claims ownership of education policy when it suits him.
But we'll make sure everybody knows that the education reforma genda that King and Tisch are imposing on the children, teachers and schools of this state is Cuomo's agenda too.
And we'll make note of the Legislators who are doing the right thing by their constituents here and standing up to the authoritarianism from SED and the Regents on these issues.