ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The state’s Board of Regents approved changes to implementing Common Core educational standards on Tuesday while backing off on a plan to delay a teacher evaluation measure.
The board put off a decision on whether to allow teachers to use the troubled rollout of the Common Core as a defense from being fired for ineffective ratings based on students who took the assessments during this school year and last. The recommendation was tabled until April for additional consideration.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said the Common Core flaws were being used as an excuse to further delay the teacher evaluation process.
After the proposal surfaced Monday, Cuomo issued a statement saying idea was “yet another in a long series of roadblocks.” He renewed the criticism during a radio interview Tuesday before the board acted, blaming the Regents for lack of progress improving education in the state.
“They applied for a Race to the Top grant and promised a teacher evaluation system, and we’re still waiting,” Cuomo said, referring to the federal grant program announced in 2009. “Every year there’s another excuse and another problem.”
The delay had been part of a package of 19 proposed measures that 15 of the 17 Regents supported Monday, largely to address issues with the Common Core.
Maria Neira, vice president of the New York State United Teachers union, attributed the reversal of the board’s position on the teacher evaluation as “100 percent influenced by the governor.” She added that the union was “disappointed that Regents didn’t have more backbone.”
Neira also noted there is already a provision in state law that allows teachers to highlight failures in implementation of the Common Core as a defense against termination.
State Education Commissioner John King and Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said Tuesday before the board’s action that they remain committed to Common Core. Tisch said much of the criticism stems from frustration over a “generational transformation.”
“It’s choppy seas because it’s a very complicated agenda,” Tisch said. “It is a huge reform. We are asking people to change practice. We’re asking parents to accept all these changes in their children’s homework. It’s really complicated.”
As part of the remaining 18 points that passed, the board approved making the class of 2022, not the class of 2017, the first group required to pass Common Core-aligned English and math exams at what are considered “college- and career-ready levels” to graduate. Those scores are 75 and 80 by regent exam standard.
Associated Press writer Michael Hill contributed to this report.