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Common Core Implementation Panel issues recommendations

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The Common Core Implementation Panel formed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo last month issued its report yesterday, March 10. Several of the panel’s recommendations mirror legislation passed by the State Assembly last week. The Assembly bill, which still needs a Senate vote, would ban standardized tests for pre-k through second grade students and remove high-stakes consequences, such as student placement and advancement, for test results.

Standardized tests, referred to in the report as “bubble tests” because they require children fill in bubble-shaped marks to record answers, are not authentic assessments, the panel writes. Scores from these tests should be used for diagnostic, not punitive purposes.

"The flawed implementation of the Common Core curriculum has resulted in frustration, anxiety, and confusion for children and parents. It is in everyone's best interest to have high, real world standards for learning and to support the Common Core curriculum, but we need to make sure that our students are not unfairly harmed by its implementation.” — Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

The panel did not suggest making any changes to the use of test scores for teacher evaluations. The New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) has called for a moratorium on the use test scores as a component of a teacher’s effectiveness score.

The panel also recommends halting the State’s plans to partner with InBloom, a private company that provides data storage and platform services. This recommendation addresses concerns that students’ privacy could be compromised with the involvement of an outside vendor for data services.

Additional recommendations include:

  • Limit the amount of time spent on test preparation to 2 percent of class time;
  • limit the amount of time spent taking state tests to 1 percent of class time;
  • provide teachers with more support, training and resources;
  • appoint a public task force made up of parents, educators, community leaders and legislators to provide ongoing review of the Common Core Standards implementation.

The panel’s report concludes saying, “We cannot and must not let uneven and sometimes poorly executed implementation divert us from realizing a bright and promising future for New York State’s students and citizen.”