Education Conference Board (ECB) Presents Testimony to the Common Core Implementation Panel

On Wednesday, February 19, SAANYS was called along with the other six organizations comprising the Education Conference Board (ECB) to present testimony and answer questions from the Common Core Implementation Panel in regard to Common Core implementation. John Yagielski, ECB Chairperson, presented testimony on the behalf of the seven ECB organizations, expressing support of the common core concept with the proviso that five additional actions must be implemented to support successful transition:
1.       Statewide campaign to build a common understanding
2.       Investment in professional development
3.       Ensure adequate funding
4.       Reassess and revise the state’s approach to student assessment
5.       Establish a process of ongoing review and refinement

Five others also presented testimony to the Panel:

  • Michael Cohen,  Achieve
  • Carmel Martin, Center for American Progress
  • Jonathan Schleifer, Educators 4 Excellence
  • Pam Allyn, LitWorld
  • Theresa O’Brien, Watervliet Elementary School Principal

All those presenting testimony expressed support for the common core standards – some much more effusively than others. (It appears to some that panel members may have been selected partly due to their positive predisposition in this regard.) So too was there general agreement about the need for better communication and more professional development. In addressing the panel, I pointed out that there appears to be general agreement that teachers have not received the professional development and support needed for successful common core implementation,  and that such professional development and support is even more lacking for school principals and other school administrators. In terms of benchmarking, several presenters cited Tennessee and Kentucky as states that “got it right.”

The Governor’s panel is chaired by Stanley Litow, IBM International Foundation. Other panel members are:

  • John Flanagan, Chairperson of Senate Education Committee
  • Catherine Nolan, Chairperson of Assembly Education Committee
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, Stanford University Graduate School of Education
  • Todd Hathaway, East Aurora High School Teacher
  • Alice Jackson-Jolley, Parent from Westchester County
  • Anne Kress, Monroe Community College
  • Nick Lawrence, Teacher at the East Bronx Academy for the Future
  • Delia Pompa, National Council of La Raza
  • Charles Russo, Superintendent of East Moriches UFSD
  • Dan Weisberg, The New Teacher Project

The Panel is next scheduled to meet on March 5, 2014, and the focus areas will be frequency of student testing and standardized testing in K-2. In delivering his closing remarks for the meeting, Mr. Litow did not indicate a target date for the release of the Panel’s report and recommendations. We hope that you will find this information helpful. We will keep you updated. All the best. …Jim Viola

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