Governor Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force

CC Task forceGovernor Cuomo has recognized that “…the Common Core program’s flawed rollout by the State Education Department has caused disruption and anxiety and must be fixed, including testing aligned to the standards.” In continuing work toward a “reboot” of the Common Core Standards, the Governor’s Common Core Task Force has conducted “Listening Sessions “ and “public sessions” in order to receive information and recommendations for six purposes:

    • Review and reform the Common Core State Standards;
    • Review New York State’s curriculum guidance and resources;
    • Develop a process to ensure tests fit curricula and standards;
    • Examine the impact of the moratorium on the use of Common Core test scores on student records, and develop a recommendation whether it should be extended;
    • Identify possibilities for reducing the quantity and duration of student tests, and develop a plan for the inclusion of parents in reviewing local tests; and
    • Review the quality of tests to ensure the competence and professionalism of private vendors.

The Task Force is comprised of 15 members. It is chaired by Richard Parsons, senior advisor, Providence Equity Partners Inc. and former chairman of the Board, Citigroup Inc.

Although the Governor’s office intentionally and expressly excluded the state’s annual professional performance review (APPR) system as a charge for the Task Force, APPR pitfalls and recommendations have been raised in information and testimony presented at each of the meetings.

Public sessions included panels of five invited speakers representing diverse views. Each panelist was allotted 15 minutes to present information for consideration by the Task Force. Following the five presentations, Task Force members engaged the panelists in a short period of questions and answers. Such sessions were held as follows:

October 29 – Lower Hudson Valley – New Rochelle, New York

Presenters were:

        • Linda Sturges, professor of mathematics and computer science curriculum supervisor, SUNY Maritime College
        • Judy Kelly, english teacher, Sleepy Hollow High School; English Department chair, Sleepy Hollow High School and Middle School; president, Local Teachers Union
        • Jamaal Bowman, principal, Cornerstone Academy for Social Action
        • Lisa Rudley, Westchester County parent, co-founder and executive director of New York State Allies for Public Education
        • Robert Horan, superintendent, Schodack Central School District

November 18 – Erie County – Amherst, New York

Presenters were:

        • Linda Darling-Hammond, faculty director, Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus, Stanford University
        • Erika Gundersen, assistant principal, P.S. 172 Beacon School for Excellence
        • Dirk Hightower, Ph.D., executive director of Children’s Institute, Inc. and senior research associate, University of Rochester
        • Ashli Skura Dreher, New York State Teacher of the Year, Lewiston-Porter District, Youngstown, New York
        • Fenice Boyd, Ph.D., associate professor of literacy education, Department of Learning and Instruction, SUNY Buffalo

Listening Sessions provided educators, parents, and other interested parties the opportunity to deliver timed (3 minutes) verbal testimony to attending members of the Task Force. Such sessions were held as follows:

        • November 6 – New York City, Long Island, Capital Region, Finger Lakes/Western New York, and Hudson Valley
        • November 9 – Southern Tier
        • November 10 – North Country, Central New York, and Mohawk Valley

The opportunity to provide written information and recommendations to the Task Force closed on November 30, 2015.

For more information about the Governor’s Common Core Task Force, contact James Viola, director of government relations, by e-mailing Testimony submitted by SAANYS is posted here.