- Learn more about NYSUT's call for a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences for students and teachers at www.nysut.org/moratorium.
ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 7, 2014 — As a six-member Regents task force begins reviewing the State Education Department's botched rollout of the Common Core learning standards, New York State United Teachers today said parents and educators are seeking major course corrections and would reject more self-serving rhetoric and token change as a mockery of their concerns. In a statement, NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said:
"Whatever potential the Common Core had to raise standards and improve student achievement is disappearing. Parents and educators, in forums throughout the state and at dozens of special legislative hearings, have made it very clear they have lost confidence in the Regents and State Education Department's implementation plan. They are rejecting obsessive standardized testing and over-reliance on data as a ‘reform.' They are demanding a renewed focus on teaching and learning, and that the state trust experienced teachers to do what's right to help children learn at high levels. They are not special interests and they are certainly not misinformed.
"Virtually the entire public education community is in agreement that it will take several more years for the new standards, curriculum, instruction and professional development to be properly aligned. Assessments must be reviewed to ensure they are aligned with the new standards and are age- and grade- appropriate. Teachers need additional time to collaborate, bring their expertise to curriculum and development and adjust their instructional practices. And, school districts must still recover from devastating funding cuts that gashed holes in programs, staff and the safety nets New York's most vulnerable students rely on. While this important and necessary work to repair SED's flawed implementation plan is underway, New York should not attach high-stakes consequences to state standardized tests for students and teachers.
"Our charge to the Regents' task force is simple: Make it right. What parents and educators don't need is more self-serving rhetoric and token change dressed up as a significant policy shift. That would make the forums and task force's work a farce and a mockery of the real concerns of parents and teachers. Assembly Speaker Silver was right when he said earlier today, ‘I think the case has been made, if nothing else, for a delay and a re-evaluation of the implementation of Common Core.' Students, parents, educators and schools need additional time and support to make the appropriate course corrections. A three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences for students and teachers from state tests would allow time for this critical work to be done."
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members. Members are pre-K—12 teachers; school-related professionals; higher education faculty; other professionals in education, human services and health care; and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.