Education officials react to new Common Core task force

classroom world now

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed a new task force that will take a look at the implementation of the Common Core standards.

The task force is comprised of four different groups with 15 members consisting of education officials, teachers, parents and state representatives. The task force will make recommendations at the end of the process, but some school officials believe there is a major topic the task force has not been asked to review.

“How much authority will they really have?” Schenectady City Schools Superintendent Larry Spring wondered. “You know, there is no guarantee that what they recommend will actually be acted on.”

Spring is not completely convinced Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force will be the catalyst for change that so many have asked for.

The task force will focus on six initiatives: review and reform of the Common Core state standards, review curriculum guidance and resources, and developing a process to ensure tests fit curricula and standards.

“There’s questions on those assessments that are very difficult beyond the grade level,” Spring said.

Vice President of the New York State United Teachers Union Andrew Pallotta said teachers also believe the curriculum is flawed.

“First off, curriculum needs to be tied to what is on the test, and right now, I have spoken to teachers around the state and they tell me it’s not,” he said. “They don’t have the correct curriculum to even teach for the classes that they’re given.”

The task force will also examine the impact of the moratorium on recording test scores on student records, examine how districts can reduce quantity and duration of tests and review of quality of tests.

But something both Spring and Pallotta said is missing is a review of the tests being used as teacher evaluations.

“Parents are uncomfortable with their children taking tests that are then used for accountability purposes for teachers, for principals, for schools,” Spring said.

“There is no way that you can separate the teacher evaluations from fixing the Common Core,” Pallotta said.

The recommendations made by the task force will have to be submitted by the end of the year.

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