ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 10, 2014 – New York State United Teachers said a Regents' task force that worked to fix the failed implementation of the Common Core acknowledged problems, but only skimmed the surface of the significant course corrections parents and educators have been seeking.
"Instead of listening to parents and educators who are grappling with the fallout from the State Education Department's disastrous implementation, the task force dismissed their concerns with a report that, in the end, adds up to a 'we know best' collection of minor adjustments," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi, who noted - contrary to a comment by the governor - that the Regents did not pause or delay anything that is not already in law.
NYSUT acknowledged "as a start" Regents' support for banning standardized tests for the state's youngest students and delaying Common Core graduation requirements - two steps strongly pushed by NYSUT. But Iannuzzi blasted the Regents for not concretely addressing New York's participation in the controversial InBloom project; not taking meaningful steps to correct major problems with Common Core modules; and not embracing the Legislature's call for a moratorium on the high-stakes consequences for students and teachers from state tests.
"After months of outrage from parents and teachers and clear guidance from the Legislature, the Regents today acknowledged significant problems but stubbornly rejected detaching, for at least two years, high-stakes consequences for students and teachers until they can make the course corrections they now agree are necessary. On teacher evaluations, what the Regents put on the table - allowing teachers to point out failures in their district's implementation of the Common Core - is nothing new. It is a provision that already exists in state law and which we planned on pursuing with or without 'permission' from the State Education Department," Iannuzzi said.
NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira noted some of the Regents' recommendations require federal waivers while others only suggest new "guidance" to school districts. Neira said the union would study the task force's report and seek more detail, but she criticized the State Education Department's lack of public input.
"The task force worked in secret, and the Regents accepted its report with no public input," Neira said. "This lack of transparency and lack of responsiveness to the deeply held concerns of parents, teachers and others in public education is, frankly, indicative of a body that seems to care more about the corporations influencing public education than what parents and practitioners know will work."
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.