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Governor Cuomo proposes Common Core changes

Thousands of kids boycotted state exams earlier this year.Chris Futcher/iStock

Thousands of kids boycotted state exams earlier this year.

Common Core is being held back.

Gov. Cuomo’s task force called for an overhaul to the controversial state academic standards in a report released Thursday.

Cuomo convened the panel in September to consider changing the tougher standards after as many as 240,000 students boycotted tests pegged to the unpopular measures in 2015.

On Thursday, the governor praised the 15-member task force’s recommendations, including calls for a reboot and a moratorium on consequences tied to the measures for teachers and students.

Gov. Cuomo set up a task force in September to consider changing the state academic standards.Mike Groll/AP

Gov. Cuomo set up a task force in September to consider changing the state academic standards.

The report also calls on the state not rate teachers on the basis of Common Core exams until 2019, to give time for new standards to be developed.

“The Common Core was supposed to ensure all of our children had the education they needed to be college and career-ready — but it actually caused confusion and anxiety,” said Cuomo. “Today we will begin to transform our system into one that empowers parents, teachers and local districts.”

The state Education Department adopted Common Core standards in 2010 as part of a national push for rigorous testing and tougher academic standards taking place in districts around the country.

But public schools across the state encountered difficulties in preparing students for the more challenging exams and controversy over what the tests should cover.

Students posted a huge drop in test scores when the state finally rolled out Common Core standards on state exams in 2013, prompting more dissatisfaction among educators and the public.

The outcry peaked in 2015 when thousands of kids across the state boycotted state exams in protest of the Common Core standards and the increased role of testing in the public schools.

In 2010, the state Education Department adopted the Common Core standards, which called for rigorous testing.Judy Kennamer/iStock

In 2010, the state Education Department adopted the Common Core standards, which called for rigorous testing.

Many parents and educators across the state felt that the standards were too difficult and that schools were not given adequate time or resources to prepare students.

Parents and teachers also objected to the state’s use of the tests to evaluate teachers and schools.

Outside of New York, several other states that implemented the Common Core faced similar protest in 2014 and 2015 — and some back away from the standards.

Students posted a huge drop in test scores when the state finally rolled out Common Core standards on state exams in 2013.Slonov/iStock

Students posted a huge drop in test scores when the state finally rolled out Common Core standards on state exams in 2013.

Cuomo said Thursday that he’s still committed to serious academics in the public schools.

But he also signaled that he’s ready to overhaul the rollout of the Common Core, even though the project could take five years or longer.

The change in course that was met with support from the teachers union and education reform groups.

“We need to get this stuff right,” said city teachers union president Michael Mulgrew. “We need time to develop standards that are good for our students.”

Cuomo’s 15-member Common Core task force is led by former Citigroup Chairman Richard Parsons and includes American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia.

The task force issued 21 recommendations in its report, including suggestions to shorten the length of Common Core tests, encourage input from local districts on the content of the exams and boost lessons that add to the fun of learning.

A Cuomo spokesman said some of the panel’s findings could be adopted by the state education department without changes to state law.

City schools boss Carmen Farina told an audience of parents and educators at a town hall meeting in Queens Thursday night that she was scheduled to have lunch with Elia on Friday to discuss the task force report.

“Common core in itself … is not bad,” Farina said. “The implementation stunk.”

With Lisa L. Colangelo

Daily News – Politics

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