Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 10, 2014

State panel recommends pushing back Common Core requirements

(Continued)

The state's teacher evaluation law, which Cuomo championed, requires districts to use student performance on the assessments as a factor in teacher and principal hiring and firing decisions.

The governor criticized the Regents panel's recommendation that educators whose jobs are at risk because of this year's and last year's test results should be able to offer as a defense that their district didn't provide enough training and curriculum support.

"There is a difference between remedying the system for students and parents and using this situation as yet another excuse to stop the teacher evaluation process," Cuomo said in a statement. "Today's recommendations are another in a series of missteps by the Board of Regents that suggests the time has come to seriously re-examine its capacity and performance."

The state's largest teachers union has been demanding a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences related to the statewide assessments. "It really demonstrates that they're not hearing what people are saying," said Richard Iannuzzi, president of the New York State United Teachers.

Lisa Rudley, an Ossining parent, said the recommendations did nothing to address what she called the "obsessive appetite" for state testing, nor the underlying question of whether the Common Core standards are even effective or appropriate.

"People are disappointed," said Rudley, a founding member of NYS Allies for Public Education, a coalition of parent and educator groups.

The report also recommended that school districts scale back the use of their own tests in teacher evaluations and stop standardized testing altogether for students in kindergarten through second grade. While the state does not mandate testing of the youngest students, some districts adopted testing as part of their teacher-evaluation formulas.

The report said that, beginning with the next school year, the state should throw out any teacher evaluation plans that rely on K-2 testing and cap at 1 percent the instructional time districts can use for local assessments in other grades.

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