Is Cuomo done passing the buck of responsibility when it comes to concerns about education from parents, educators, students, and taxpayers? In recent news, Governor Andrew Cuomo will call for a panel to review the implementation of the Common Core State Standards in New York State.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo will call Tuesday for a panel to review the implementation of the state’s controversial Common Core testing standards.
He will also press for a ban on standardized testing for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade, Cuomo’s administration confirmed.
Cuomo indicated Friday that he has concerns about the rollout of the new testing standards and has called on the Legislature to review the issue.
“It has really raised concerns all across the board, and those are concerns that we are looking at, and I think we will be discussing this legislative session,” Cuomo said on “The Capitol Pressroom,” a public radio show.
The Associated Press said the panel will include education experts and legislators will look at changes to the testing standards during the upcoming fiscal year, which starts April 1.
Legislators and state Education Commissioner John King have already said they will not support state testing of students in kindergarten through second grade, which has happened sporadically through the state through so-called bubble tests.
“Decisions about how to measure student progress in pre-K – grade 2 are made by local school districts,” King said in a statement Nov. 15. “However, we strongly recommend against the use of bubble tests or other traditional standardized tests and urge districts and their bargaining units to identify other ways to assess learning progress for these very young students.”
Cuomo has supported tougher standards for teachers and schools, saying regularly that New York spends the most on education in the nation but is in middle of the pack in results.
Yet as concerns continue over the student testing, Cuomo has been increasingly critical of Common Core, the federal program that is underway in 45 states. States have latitude on how the program is implemented, and local districts develop the curriculum based on state criteria.
Why should we not be impressed? Chris Cerrone @ The Chalk Face puts it succinctly and poignantly enough… It’s a FARCE. We can anticipate already another pointless waste of time, empty caring to placate the voices of concern coming from real stakeholders, voices that get louder every single day. Another panel of experts, just like the ones who brought us Common Core and all of its associated nonsense in the first place, to review and evaluate, and perhaps even make a small concession or two so that we might acknowledge their attempts at real leadership…. oh and maybe even vote him into office again this year.
I have serious concerns about the emptiness of statements such as, “Decisions about how to measure student progress in pre-K – grade 2 are made by local school districts,” King said in a statement Nov. 15. “However, we strongly recommend against the use of bubble tests or other traditional standardized tests and urge districts and their bargaining units to identify other ways to assess learning progress for these very young students.” Cuomo is calling for a ban on “standardized testing” for grades K-2.
What does “standardized testing” mean to these people in charge? What does it mean to Governor Cuomo, to Commissioner King, or to the Board of Regents? If the matter is simply reduced to equating “traditional standardized testing” to “bubble sheets” then I am afraid other unnecessary tests are going to slip through the cracks as the “safe” tests. (the ones that don’t decimate education for our youngest learners?). It’s a ruse.
When Cuomo calls for a ban on “standardized testing” and then goes on to recommend against the use of “bubble tests or other traditional standardized tests…” his panel might overlook all the computer-adaptive tests that are being shoved down our kids’ throats and holding them (and their teachers) accountable to age-inappropriate expectations. I feel it will be all too easy for this panel to declare, “no bubble tests, no foul!” But what about STAR and AimsWeb and Terra Nova and all of this Common Core-aligned age-inappropriate bullshit that forces unrealistic expectations on our youngest learners, and leads classroom time towards a focus on ELA and Math, and narrows time for free-play, art, music, etc? Just because they aren’t “traditional bubble tests” doesn’t mean they aren’t tests and that they aren’t guiding instruction. And it doesn’t mean they are authentic forms of assessment that benefits individual teachers or students. These tests, like the Common Core, are market-driven products.
Quite frankly, speaking as a parent of young children, I just don’t care what any of these tests have to tell me about my children in their earliest school years. I want to see them thriving in curiosity, making friends, developing cognitively and emotionally through play and art and recess, and developing academically through unscripted lessons and the guidance of a nurturing teacher who doesn’t feel like his or her ass is on the line if her growth scores aren’t good enough.
This is utter nonsense and its time that Governor Cuomo, Commissioner King, and the Board of Regents just stop and recall their flawed products. The Common Core, the aligned tests (of any kind), APPR–all failures. Take them off the market before any more people get hurt.