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Regents Slow Down Common Core; Where Do You Stand?

Higher testing benchmarks pushed off until 2022. "Ineffective" teachers get chance to appeal.

Protesters stand outside of the News 12 studio in Woodbury on Monday to demand Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fix or scrap the controversial new Common Core curriculum. Credit: Monica Gleberman
Protesters stand outside of the News 12 studio in Woodbury on Monday to demand Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fix or scrap the controversial new Common Core curriculum. Credit: Monica Gleberman
The highly criticized rollout of Common Core Curriculum took a step back on Monday, as the New York State Board of Regents decided to delay several parts of the initiative tied to testing and teacher evaluations.

For starters, the board voted to push testing rules to 2022, as opposed to 2017, stipulating students score above 75 or 80 on Regents exams in English and math to graduate.

The board also agreed to allow teachers who received “ineffective” ratings under the new teacher evaluation system to appeal the rating because the quick rollout of last year’s high-stakes tests did not give them enough time to prepare.

The state said no teacher has been fired for getting an “ineffective” mark, but under the rules of the evaluations system, any teacher who scores two “ineffective” ratings in a row could lose their job.

See the board's full recommendations above.

“When the Board approved the shift to the Common Core four years ago, we knew we would have to make adjustments as the standards rolled out,” Rochester area Regent Wade Norwood said in a statement. “The work group balanced the concerns all of us have heard with the progress we’ve made toward raising the bar for our students. The changes we’ve made protect teachers and students from unforeseen and unintended consequences of the implementation without damaging the foundation we’ve built to help our students succeed in the 21st century.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasted the Regents for pulling back on Common Core.

"As far as today's recommendations are concerned, 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.

“The Regents' response is to recommend delaying the teacher evaluation system and is yet another in a long series of roadblocks to a much needed evaluation system which the Regents had stalled putting in place for years."

The rollout of Common Core, a curriculum that its creators say will better prepare American students for college, the workforce and to compete on the global stage, is being implemented across the country. And in many cases, such as in New York, implementing Common Core is tied to how much federal money states receive for their schools.

But the increase in work for students, new approaches to learning and an intense testing regiment has caused parents across the state to call for a slowdown of the rollout. In packed forums across the state, parents have turned out in droves to personally question state Education Commissioner John King over the curriculum they say is hurting their children.

At a recent forum in Riverhead, NY, one social worker said she has seen a major jump in the number of kids suffering from stress related to Common Core. Maria Calamia, a clinical social worker who has a private practice in Stony Brook, NY, said she is dealing with kids who are wetting their beds, getting nosebleeds from stress, complaining of stomachaches, asking to sleep in their parents' bed and even using drugs.

Let us know in the comments how you feel about the Regents’ decision on Monday.
Bob Zahm March 04, 2014 at 08:36 AM
@Harold1968 - actually, most teachers I know want to be held accountable for their work. and they are generally very proud of what they do. the new assessment system fear stems from legitimate concerns about having had enough time to learn curriculum changes to be able to teach their students what's expected. there are additional "small" concerns like the materials used to instruct the teachers and to be used by the students not being ready / finished - some won't be done until end of 2014. and of course, there's the small issue of measuring a person's performance that is driven by items over which they have no control; e.g., students who learning disabilities; students who don't speak English; etc. I'm all for fixing the educator terminator process including eliminating tenure or making it 3 / 5 year renewable, but your comment spasm does no one any good.
Harold1968 March 04, 2014 at 09:51 AM
Elsie, If paying the highest property taxes in the country while our children fail compared to the rest of the world makes me a jealous kook, then so be it. What's funny to me is that I'M being called a kook for thinking teachers can be held to the same standard as the average taxpayer. Elsie, this just shows your privileged attitude. You know the average taxpayer works until 65+, correct? You know the average taxpayer doesn't have a guaranteed pension, correct? You know the average taxpayer works 230 days each year, correct? You know the average taxpayer doesn't get free healthcare for life, correct? You know the average taxpayer doesn't get two raises each year, correct? You know the average taxpayer doesn't have job protection for life, correct? Forget the "1%", public union employees are the true privileged class. Thankfully, union bastions like Detroit, Illinois, Wisconsin and California have all realized that union compensation isn't sustainable in the long term. It's just a matter of time it happens in New York. Say goodbye to your constitutionally protected pension once municipalities in New York start going bankrupt. Talk to you in ten years, HA.
Harold1968 March 04, 2014 at 09:57 AM
RyeBob, I'm sorry I'm not keeping this a teacher lovefest. We obviously know different teachers. I'm also sorry my comment spasm took you out of "teacher reality" into "taxpayer reality" for a moment.
Bob Zahm March 04, 2014 at 12:28 PM
No, Harold, your comments didn't take the dialog into taxpayer reality, but that's okay 'cause you're not the only person who confuses the high cost of education in NYS with common core which has nothing to do with it.
Patchogue Snoop March 05, 2014 at 09:15 AM
As long as the public sector unions, specifically police and teachers, control every decision out local hacks make the taxpayer will lose. The education our children receive is at the bottom when compared to the rest of the country. States with strong union representation are even lower so there is no link between salary levels and the quality of the education they receive and we the taxpayer pay for.
Harold1968 March 05, 2014 at 10:46 AM
It's just a matter of time before New York reaches the point that Chicago, Detroit, Illinois, Stockton, San Diego, and many other places are now. Public employee compensation just isn't sustainable in the long term. DEMOCRATIC leadership in all of these union strongholds are saying the money just isn't there and "constitutionally protected pensions" aren't as ironclad as unions thought. A good start in New York would be to have all public sector employees switched to defined contribution plans and all retirees pay for their own healthcare. Long term solutions include eliminating teacher tenure, raising the retirement age for all public sector employees so they are in line with private sector employees, make NY a right-to-work state, eliminate the Triborough Amendment, extend the school year, eliminate two raises each year for teachers, and tie raises to inflation.
NYCLU LHV March 19, 2014 at 03:43 PM
We will be holding a free public forum on our students' right to learn. Among the topics to be discussed will be about the Common Core. Please join us at the Greenburgh Public Library on March 25 at 6:30 PM. Thank you, lowerhudsonvalley@nyclu.org
Patchogue Snoop March 19, 2014 at 04:25 PM
2022 why not just make it the year 3000. By 2022 the rest of the world will have exceeded the US in every respect and we will be their slaves. I see us reduced to serving them in the way they now do as customer service reps only this time it will be an American claiming his name is Chang. Thank you for failing our children and our country. You are a complete disgrace teachers, union and government. All for your own selfish needs pay raises, more union dues to buy our political hacks in charge and lastly for these hacks to get reelected they cave to the union who puts them in office with huge campaign donations(ie bribes). This nullifies the taxpayers votes. What a wonderful state we live in. It breaks my heart what public sector greedy unions have done to the middle class taxpayer. Eff you all.
Patchogue Snoop March 19, 2014 at 04:26 PM
Oh...edit....public sector greedy unions and their members.
Patchogue Snoop March 19, 2014 at 04:31 PM
Harold.....we are already there. I am doing worse than my parents and have twice the education I am broke for paying for the cops, teachers and countless levels of government hacks doing nothing, not to mention the 47% of the population that demands we support them and last but not least the 100 million(real number) of illegal aliens stealing and committing crimes(fraud, ID theft, etc) every minute they are here. The kids today coming out of our 100 million a year schools are so dopey I cannot believe what they say and their overall stupidity. I remember many notes from these overpaid teachers with spelling errors galore and finding test marked with wrong answers that were actually correct. And vice verso. meet some of these teachers at conference night and I am quite frankly appalled and the low quality of what we pay far too much for!!!
Fletcher March 19, 2014 at 04:46 PM
So its all the teachers failing the kids, nit the parents? Every teacher is bad. Snoop what do u do for a living? What school did u go to? There are plenty of people who would disagree with your sterotypical rant.
Patchogue Snoop March 19, 2014 at 05:02 PM
None of your effing business. Save the old, played out, BS excuse for the circus clowns....I teach my children morals, religion and what I want instilled in them to be good, honest, spiritual citizens. Informed citizens to see through your BS. I pay you far too much to teach my children the three Rs. DO YOUR JOB. GET THAT. if you spent less time trying to brainwash them into loyal liberal drones and stick to the basics aforementioned maybe they would stand some chance in this world..... See ya and enjoy your three raises this year.....cost of living, step and longevity.....oops forgot maybe five six or even seven raises for taking a scuba class....correct Ms Fletcher.
Fletcher March 19, 2014 at 05:08 PM
It seems you are the one who is brainwashed. So tell me, what should teachers make? Should they ever get a raise? Only you should, right?
Fletcher March 19, 2014 at 05:14 PM
And btw, ur school taxes dont only go towards paying teaching salaries. Go take a look at what private schools cost and you will see that you are actually getting decent value. Whats your solution? Privatize schools? Lol. Lets see how you will like paying $20k a year just for schools.
DebinRye March 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Well then, let's give everyone the choice of public versus private school. A little competition will show Fletcher exactly what his services are really worth.
Fletcher March 20, 2014 at 04:53 PM
If u want competition then level the playing field because private schools and public dont operate the same way, madam. If i only taught the better kids with parents who were paying a premium to come, my results would be different. You are getting a bargain for my services.
DebinRye March 20, 2014 at 05:39 PM
I suppose it's fair to point out the difference in student demographics between public and private schools. Personally, I don't believe children of wealthier people are inherently brighter or harder working. Of course, even if that were the case, it would no longer be an issue if every family were provided the opportunity to choose where to send their kids to school.
Fletcher March 20, 2014 at 06:15 PM
Kids with families that are brighter tend to place a bigger importance on education. They pay for what the kids need. Ie: tutors, extra books and the like. And they will sit there with the kid and do hw or pay someone to. Thats why the students in jericho do better than the kids in hempstead. Has nothing to do with intelligence. Do u get it now?
Fletcher March 20, 2014 at 06:18 PM
I meant to write wealthier not brighter.
TheNakedTruth March 31, 2014 at 09:28 AM
Good morning to all. Found an awesome article this morning that FOCUSES ON THE ACTUAL CONTENT of the CCS evaluations that are underway. It contains many examples of the questions that are being posed to our children. The ridiculousness of same is astounding. Check out: http://news.yahoo.com/second-grader-revenge-against-common-core-math-day-141806961.html Further, additional links within this article lead to another post called "Is This Common Core Math Question The Worst Math Question In Human History?". Sorry, (call me a spoiler), but I cannot pass up quoting it: "Juanita wants to give bags of stickers to her friends. She wants to give the same number of stickers to each friend. She is not sure whether she needs 4 bags or 6 bags of stickers. How many stickers could she buy so there are no stickers left over?" This is just one pathetic example...initiatives like this disaster embarrass us as a nation both to ourselves and to the rest of the planet. CCS is an epic fail on every front. Politics seeks to overshadow that fact at any expense....even our kids'. Of course Cuomo and US Education Secretary Duncan blast the pushback...
David March 31, 2014 at 09:45 AM
TheNakedTruth, the answer is 12 bags of stickers. It's not a bad question, you just didn't know how to solve it. That makes it maybe a hard question, not a bad one. How did I get that answer within a few seconds? Well it's some sort of divisibility problem, where she wants to divide stickers evenly. Whatever the contents of the typical bag, she needs either 4 of them or 6 of them to be sure. That means she needs a number of bags divisible by both 4 and 6. The smallest such number is 12. 24 would also work but it's not the smallest. According to the wording of the question, that answer too would receive full or near-full credit.
David March 31, 2014 at 10:03 AM
It looks to me like both gubernatorial candidates, Cuomo and Astorino, are running against Common Core. Cuomo did a fake telephone "town hall" for Westchester and Rockland Counties, where I was robocalled but they never let me ask my question, and in his remarks there, Cuomo blasted Common Core.
Elsie March 31, 2014 at 04:54 PM
@David - That question is a second grade question. They don't learn division in second grade. Also, you could not do it by dividing. You would have to find another way to explain your answer using diagrams and writing a paragraph.
J. Cattano April 04, 2014 at 10:07 PM
Unfortunately, Common Core in it's attempt to better prepare American students to enter college is the spoon without the syrup. Far too many American students are unable to afford to attend college and or unwilling to go into debt for 20 years after graduation with a 4 year degree they can do very little with. The system is pushing our kids into this system that promotes "healthy competition". That would be great if all could compete in the same game. The one's who make the rules of the game are not representative of all the players.
Christopher Wendt April 05, 2014 at 07:33 AM
Well said on all counts!
Aidan April 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2014/03/17/how-common-core-standards-kill-creative-teaching
Bob Zahm April 11, 2014 at 10:23 PM
@Aidan - you're turning into a spammer! the same url on three different threads. really necessary?
Aidan April 13, 2014 at 05:56 AM
Just trying to educate you … over and over again.
David April 13, 2014 at 02:18 PM
@Elsie I'll grant that it's a hard question for second grade. Students can show divisibility by showing 12 being split into 4 equal parts, and again into 6 equal parts, with a diagram, but I think few second graders would get this right. Any second grader who gets this right is showing unusual mathematical talent, or at least unusual advancement in meeting common core standards. Don't we want to allow such unusual talent to be recognized? Especially in elementary grades these days, there seems so little opportunity for it these days.
Elsie April 18, 2014 at 04:23 PM
@David -- Talent should be recognized by differentiating instruction. Those 2nd graders who can do this should, those who can't should be taught at a level that is more developmentally appropriate for them. There is very little room for enriching those students who should be or helping those students who need it using the Engage NY Modules. I am not a teacher but I have looked at the NY modules and the CC standards. I believe that teachers can address CC standards without the developmental inappropriateness of the NY requirements.

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