Common Core Soon to Be No More in Kansas?

I read a slightly obnoxious article in Lawrence Journal-World about how Common Core will suddenly become a thing of the past in Kansas. I call it obnoxious because it just spouted off Common Core advocate talking points, and did not cite a single opponent. It also said Common Core would be “no more” without demonstrating how the new standards will be different.

The Kansas State Board of Education adopted new math standards in August. I looked on the Kansas Department of Education website, and it said they were not available yet.

Not available yet when the Board just approved the final draft? That was in August; it is now October.

I was able to find them by digging through the Board’s packet of materials for their August Board meeting and scrolling down to page 185.

Since the final draft of the 2017 math standards has been approved, I wanted to compare their “new” math standards with their 2010 standards.

Kansas’ new standards still include the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice verbatim.

Kindergarten

They tweak some of the standards. An example: K.CC.1 (2010) says, “Count to 100 by ones and by tens.” The 2017 standard says, “Count to 100 by ones and by tens and identify as a growth pattern.”

They moved around some of the standards. For example, they split up K.CC.3. The 2010 standard reads, “Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0–20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).” K.CC.3 now reads, “Read and write numerals from 0 to 20.” The rest of the 2010 standard, “Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects)” now becomes K.CC.4d.

First Grade

They rewrote 1.NBT.4 which did not change the standard, but made it easier to read.

Here’s the old standard: “Add within 100, including adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number, and adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. Understand that in adding two-digit numbers, one adds tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten.”

The new standard:

1.NBT.4. Add within 100 using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used including: (1.NBT.4)

1.NBT.4a Adding a two-digit number and a one-digit number (1.NBT.4)
1.NBT.4b Adding a two-digit number and a multiple of 10 (1.NBT.4)
1.NBT.4c Understanding that when adding two-digit numbers, combine like base-ten units such as tens and tens, ones and ones; and sometimes it is necessary to compose a ten. (1.NBT.4)

Second Grade

They added a new 2.NBT.1c to 2.NBT.1., “Show flexibility in composing and decomposing hundreds, tens, and ones.” It then gave examples.

2.MD.9 is new, “Identify coins and bills and their values.”

Third Grade

They split the 2010 3.MD.2 standard into two standards, beyond that the language is the same.

Fourth Grade

Several Measurement and Data standards have been moved to the 8th-Grade Geometry standards (see below). Beyond that nothing has changed.

Fifth Grade

I did not notice any significant changes.

Sixth Grade

6.RP.3 has been reorganized. They combined part of 6.RP.3a and 6.RP.3b. 6.RP.3c (2010) is now 6.RP.3b. 6.RP.3d (2010) is now 6.RP.3c. It did not change the standard at all.

6.NS.5 has been similarly reorganized to include 6.NS.5a and 6.NS.5b. All of the original language from the 2010 standard is still present.

The 2010 6.EE.3 and 6.EE.4 2010 standards have been combined. It now reads (without the examples), “Apply the properties of operations and combine like terms, with the conventions of algebraic notation, to identify and generate equivalent expressions.” The phrase “with the conventions of algebraic notation” is the new language in that standard.

Seventh Grade

The 2010 7.NS.1c standard was changed. It originally reads, “Understand subtraction of rational numbers as adding the additive inverse, p – q = p + (–q). Show that the distance between two rational numbers on the number line is the absolute value of their difference, and apply this principle in real-world contexts.”

It’s now 7.NS.1c and 7.NS.1d:

7.NS.1c Model subtraction of rational numbers as adding in the additive inverse, p – q = p + (-q).

7.NS.1d Model subtraction as the distance between two rational numbers on the number line where the distance is the absolute value of their difference.

They replaced 7.G.2 with G.GMD.4 which reads, “Identify three-dimensional objects generated by rotating a two-dimensional (rectangular or triangular) object around one edge.”

7.G.5 has been replaced. The 2010 standard, “Use facts about supplementary, complementary, vertical, and adjacent angles in a multi-step problem to write and use them to solve simple equations for an unknown angle in a figure.”

Now reads:

 

Eighth Grade

They eliminated the 2010 8.EE.1 standard that reads, “Know and apply the properties of integer exponents to generate equivalent numerical expressions. For example, 32 × 3–5 = 3–3 = 1/33 = 1/27.”

A new standard has been added. It’s 8.EE.6, and it reads:

Describe the relationship between the proportional relationship expressed in = and the non-proportional linear relationship = + as a result of a vertical translation. Note: be clear with students that all linear relationships have a constant rate of change (slope), but only the special case of proportional relationships (line that goes through the origin) continue to have a constant of proportionality.

The 8th-Grade Geometry standards have been changed quite a bit. They moved 4th-Grade Measurement and Data standards 4.MD.5a and 4.MD.6 to become 8.G.1a and 8.G.1b, as well as, 8.G.2.  Also, 4.MD.7 becomes 8.G.3. The 7th Grade Geometry standard 7.G.5 and 7.G.2 become 8.6.4 and 8.G.6.

8.G.5, 8.G.7, and 8.G.8 are original standards from 2010. 8.G.10 and 8.G.12 are new. 8.G.11 is the 2010 G.GMD.3 standard.

High School

They added grade classifications to the standards.

N.RN.1 for 9/10-Grades was the Eight Grade Geometry standard 8.EE.1.

They divided up N.CN.3 into two standards. (N.CN.3 and N.CN. 4).

They added two new standards to the Arithmetic with Polynomials and Rational Expressions (A.ARP) section.

A.APR.2 is new, it reads, “Factor polynomials; identifying that some polynomials are prime.”

A.APR.7 is also new, and it reads, “(+) Add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions.”

The Reasoning with Equations and Inequalities (A.REI) section has been reorganized.

A.REI.3b is new, it reads, “(+) Solve exponential and logarithmic equations.”

A.REI.5d is new, it reads, “(+) Solve quadratic inequalities and identify the domain.”

Some 8th-Grade Expressions and Equations standards have been moved to the high school A.REI section. 8.EE.8a, 8.EE.8b, and 8.EE.8c have become A.REI.6a, A.REI.6b, and A.REI.6C.

A.REI.7 combines the 2010 A.REI.8 and A.REI.9 standards.

In the Interpreting Functions (F.IF) section there have been some changes. F.IF.7 sub-standards have been reorganized, but it does not contain new language (beyond grade classifications).

F.IF.8a is new it reads, “(9/10) Use different forms of linear functions, such as slope-intercept, standard, and point-slope form to show rate of change and intercepts.”

Under the Building Functions section (F.BF) there have been some changes. F.BF.1a is a new standard. It replaces the 2010 F.BF.1b standard. F.BF.4b and F.BF.4c have switched places compared to the 2010 standards.

Under the Geometry Congruence Standards (G.CO) there have been some changes.

G.CO.1 was replaced with the 2010 8.G.1 standard. G.C0.3 was replaced with the 2010 8.G.3 standard.

G.CO.9 is a new standard.

Under the High School Geometry Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry section (G.SRT) there have been a few changes.

G.SRT.2 and G.SRT.3 standards reflect new 2017 language.

I already mentioned that some Geometry Geometric Measurement and Dimension standards (G.GMD) had been moved to 8th-Grade Geometry (G.GMD.3).

Conclusion:

I see few changes to their early elementary math standards. They have delayed some fourth grade standards to eighth grade. Their most significant differences can be observed in the 8th Grade and High School Geometry standards, and then they were primarily swapping standards around.

There have been few new standards added. The Standards for Mathematical Practice from Common Core is still in use. The most significant change for high school is the addition of grade classifications which, I’m sure, is helpful.

The Lawrence Journal-World may think Common Core is gone, what I see is merely a rebrand.

Zais Appointed as Deputy Secretary of Education

Photo credit: Milken Family Foundation

Former South Carolina Superintendent of Education Mick Zais was appointed by President Donald Trump as Deputy Secretary of Education.

The White House announcement reads:

Mitchell Zais of South Carolina to be Deputy Secretary of Education.  Most recently, Mr. Zais served as South Carolina’s elected State Superintendent of Education.  During his term in office, the department’s budget was reduced while on-time high school graduation rates increased every year to an all-time high.  The number of public charter schools increased 78 percent, the number of public charter school students increased 155 percent, and the number of students taking online courses grew 130 percent.  Prior to that, he served 10 years as president of Newberry College in South Carolina.  The College was recognized for the first time by U.S. News as one of “America’s Best Colleges.”  He served 31 years as an infantry soldier in the U.S. Army.  He retired as a Brigadier General.  Mr. Zais holds a B.S. in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, an M.A. degree in military history, plus M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in organizational behavior and social psychology from the University of Washington.  He served as South Carolina Commissioner of Higher Education and is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, the states’ highest civilian award.

Zais campaigned against Common Core when he was first elected. A year into his term he appeared to make some headway rejecting one-time federal education dollars including Race to the Top funds.

“We don’t have a shortage of dollars in South Carolina’s schools, we have a shortage of accountability, competition, and incentives,” Zais said to Ben Velderman in an interview.

“If South Carolina had accepted its slice of the Race to the Top pie, it would equal $2.22 per student per year, for four years,” Zais said. “The idea that $2.22 would make a big difference is just nonsense. That’s not even a rounding error.”

He said he wanted to fight against the “education industrial complex.”

That sounds good. Unfortunately, in 2014 the South Carolina Legislature passed a rebrand of Common Core instead of a repeal that was signed by then Governor Nikki Haley.

The rewrite process was sketchy, and Zais oversaw a rebranding of the Common Core even though he claimed that was not going to happen.

I’ve not seen one independent analysis of South Carolina’s standards showing they are significantly different than the Common Core State Standards.

He was also an advocate of education as workforce development and didn’t have a problem accepting a federal workforce development grant.

He did, however, reject the Next Generation Science Standards so I’ll give him that.

He may be better than some of President Trump’s other picks for the Department of Education, but we can’t call him an anti-Common Core warrior. His rhetoric doesn’t match his record.

When a Repeal Isn’t a Repeal

West Virginia State Capitol Building – Charleston, WV
Photo credit: O Palsson (CC-By-2.0)

SB 524 currently before the West Virginia Senate is being touted as a Common Core repeal. The bill, unlike the HB 2443 introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates, does not effectively repeal the Common Core State Standards.

Let me explain.

Right now SB 524, if passed, would prohibit the State Board of Education from implementing the Common Core State Standards by July 1, 2018. Sounds good right?

Well, that in itself is a a watering down of the bill as this reflects an amendment, the introduced version said the prohibition was effective July 1, 2017. So this gives Common Core another year to be entrenched in West Virginia schools.

Then the HB 2443 and the original version of SB 524 required the adoption of Massachusetts’ ELA standards pre-Common Core and California’s math standards pre-Common Core. This was amended out.

Why? Susan Berry with Breitbart News reports the explanation State Senator Robert Karnes (R-Ripley), the author of that amendment, told her:

I’m fine with those standards, but there was a real concerted effort by some to…I don’t know if you could exactly say slander, but let’s just say they hit those standards very hard for being old and out of touch…and it was carrying a lot of weight. So, the amendment, essentially, served one purpose, and that was to keep the bill alive and move it over to the House.

And there’s an effort over there to define more clearly what we did in the amendment, essentially saying that state teachers, state educators, will be involved in any standards formulation, adoption, etc. We put that in there, and I’m told that on the House side they’ve got some even better language.

But, having those specific standards in there, I believe would have essentially killed the bill. It’s better to keep it moving than to watch it die.

There is not requirement for the state to adopt proven standards right away, but move straight to the development of new standards which would require the Board to “allow West Virginia educators the opportunity to participate in the development of the academic standards.”

There would then be a sixty day comment period and four public hearings.

Needless to say, that doesn’t provide any assurances West Virginia won’t end up with a rebrand. Actually what we’ve seen thus far in other states pretty much guarantees it.

The State Board of Education recently voted to move away from Smarter Balanced starting next school year. What will the state end up with?

It’s important to note that the Every Student Succeeds Act requires as part of a state’s accountability plan to have standards and an assessment that are aligned with one another.

If the State Board of Education is develops a new assessment before being prohibited from implementing the Common Core State Standards what do we think their new assessment will be aligned to?

When they develop new standards under this new assessment what do we think those standards will be aligned to?

In the end you have Common Core or some version of it.

I agree with Erin Tuttle, co-founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core, that saw a rebranding in their own state Susan Berry quotes Tuttle in her piece:

Despite boastful claims from state legislators that Common Core was repealed, the people of West Virginia aren’t buying it. The fact that every school is still using Common Core textbooks and administering a Common Core test (Smarter Balance) is an everyday reminder to students, parents, and teachers that the state legislature’s claim is false….

….Until state legislators stop lying to themselves and admit what everyone else knows to be true, very little progress will be made by West Virginia’s schools. The state legislature needs to face reality and pass a bill that not only repeals Common Core, but ensures it is replaced by standards that work.

Is Michigan on the Verge of a Common Core Rebrand?

Photo credit: Brian Charles Watson (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Photo credit: Brian Charles Watson (CC-By-SA 3.0)

In May, I wrote about the status of the Common Core Repeal and Replace bill being considered by the Michigan Legislature (SB 826/HB 5444). The bill they were considering was one crafted by Stop Common Core in Michigan, and would have been the strongest bill we’ve seen nationally to date if passed.

In that article American Principles Project’s Jane Robbins gave a warning about the bill being gutted.

If the sponsor(s) can keep it from being gutted by the usual suspects who elevate their own agendas over genuine education, it will be a very strong bill. I look forward to seeing how the education-establishment and corporate types argue that replacing the Common Core standards with the indisputably better pre-Common Core Massachusetts standards will harm Michigan education,” Jane Robbins, Senior Fellow at American Principles Project, said to Truth in American Education in an email.

In May, the Senate bill sponsor, State Senator Pat Colebeck (R-Canton), assured Truth in American Education in May that, “It will have a repeal component, and it will include the Massachusetts standards as a replacement. It will make it very difficult for the Common Core to eek its way back in.”

He then elaborated:

When pressed about what would be taken out of the current bill if a substitute bill is offered, Colebeck pointed to the language in the bill that requires new standards having to pass through the House and Senate in concurrent resolutions. He indicated they would receive pushback and likely a legal challenge over that.

“I just don’t want this thing challenged once it is out,” Colebeck explained.

Looking at the substitute bill that was leaked last week it appears that Robbins fears about the bill were justified. Colebeck did more than remove language dealing with the concurrent resolutions.

Michigan Campaign for Liberty, who first reported on the substitute bill, noted one of the most important changes in the bill:

As part of the process of conversion away from the Common Core standards, the superintendent of public instruction, the state board, the department, and any other state public employee or authority shall take all steps necessary to terminate areas of federal control of the Michigan Educational process.

The problem is, this provision is being derailed.

Why are Republicans fighting to keep Washington D.C. bureaucrats in control of the Michigan education process?

A substitute is being pushed that changes the language to:

The department, and any other state public employee or authority shall take all steps necessary to terminate areas of federal control of the Michigan educational process that are not considered to be in the best interests of pupils in this state.

This added language at the end, “that are not considered to be in the best interest of pupils in this state” opens up a huge loophole.

All bureaucrats and politicians believe what they do is in the best interest of the pupils.  All manner of federal control will be justified under this new provision.

They note that Colebeck’s concern about the concurrent resolution could be dealt with in two steps. It didn’t need to be removed.

  1. In the original bill, the approval process was to be done through a concurrent resolution.  Instead, state that the legislature must vote on it via a full bill.
  2. Place a severability clause in the bill.  If any portion of the bill is struck down by the courts, then the rest of the bill stands.

Tamara Carlone with Stop Common Core in Michigan sent Truth in American Education a list of changes that need to be made in the bill (the more stars the more vital it is that a change is made).

The first 4 pages of the sub, except for the last three lines of page 4, are pages that were not included in the original bill.  The original bill changed any wording that had the term “core” in it.  These additional pages would need to use the same terminology of the original bill to be consistent and to be less confusing.” State academic content standards” instead of “core academic curriculum content standards,” for example.

Page 2 – line 2 – “cognitive” needs to be defined.

Page 2 – line 7 – based on who’s opinion/world view? 

Page 2 – lines 19 & 20 – define “Michigan K-12 program standards of quality”

Page 2 – lines 23 and 24 – update outdated terms – we do not use MEAP anymore… and what makes up MME now…

Page 3 – line 1 – “beliefs” is excluded here and should be included, as per rest of bill. 

Page 3 – line 7 – “all” is not accurate as all students will not achieve same material and same age/ pace.  Section 6 at top of page 4 refers to this, but this should be accurate taken on its own.

Page 4 – line 17 & 18 – update outdated term – we do not use MEAP anymore.

Page 4 – line 22 – case law referred to and can change…should refer to point trying to make here…

***Page 5 – lines 20 & 21 – too subjective/ based on who’s opinion/ world view?

*******Page 6 – sections B, C and D are all new and should be deleted.  Section B is too general; MA is for 5 years only; if include must be extremely specific.  Not really needed since all schools have current events – it is not prescriptive in the standards.  Section C is way too general!  MDE thinks what they just passed, NGSS, is “evidence based.”  NGSS treats global warming as fact and pushes it every year, deletes major areas of scientific study, deletes the scientific method, and no God or creation IS fact to them.  Section D is too general and risky.  If a new law comes up – that law is followed, this language not even needed.  These three sections are BIG holes in this sub.

***Page 7 – line 12 – Add, “and the Next Generation Science Standards” after “…not directly aligned to the common core standards” and before “…that were previously adopted by the state board.”  Then add another sentence, “Not directly aligned to the C3 social studies standards under consideration by the state board of education either.”

Page 7 – lines 14 & 15 – based on who?  Gates or other pro-CC groups?  Must be independent and repeated.

**********Page 8 – line 10 & lines 16-18 – “BASED ON” & MDE making assessments – this is way too open – MDE is a big part of why MI schools are doing poorly – stick with original bill in which we use MA standards and MA tests.

Page 8 – lines 23-25 – put wording back to original bill.

**Page 9 – section 2 – Schools too; and not just opt out of assessment – opt out of objectionable things going on in the school – see original bill language. 

Page 9 – lines 16-19 – this is new language – what $ would be used then?

Sub bill deletes emphasis on “coherence, focus, and essential knowledge” and instead just requires that “standards shall be supported by evidence that demonstrates improved academic achievement.”  The wording was selected by a MI teacher that sees the aim of CC being “off” from a true and full quality education, and it is separate from the proposed wording, which seems to focus on test scores.  Standards must be supported by evidence but that is already in the original bill.

Sub bill deletes prohibition against collecting mental data of a pupil or their family.  This section must be maintained in order to protect inappropriate data collection on children.  If exceptions are needed for mentally handicap children, there can be necessary information gathered to aid in the education of those children only – preferably maintained within the school district. 

Concurrent resolution language was deleted and it could be replaced with a bill with a severability clause in the bill.  That way, if any portion of the bill is struck down by the courts, then the rest of the bill stands. 

Carlone provided the following statement:

As the Vice President of Stop Common Core in Michigan I worked closely with Representative Gary Glenn and other members of my team over a year’s time to create the absolute strongest bill in the nation.  That is House Bill 5444, which was picked up on the Senate side as SB 826.  We saw what was happening in other states with fake repeals, etc. and wanted to avoid that in Michigan so the language of the bill was very carefully selected.  National education experts, state education experts, and lawyers were consulted along the way.  Our only goal is giving the children of Michigan the best possible education.  We do not get paid and we have no ulterior motives.  We work hard every day seeking the best interests of children in education and that is it.  We can tell you who all the special interests are that are behind Common Core, the related tests, the data, etc.  We watch the issue constantly and are part of a national network doing the same.  We know the tricks of the pro-Common Core folks to protect their gravy train.  We have literally seen it all.  So, of course, we were very disappointed to be shut out of the process when the Senate chose to pick up the bill.  

I have provided my detailed input on the proposed substitute bill and it has been ignored.  I can tell you who is behind every change in the substitute bill and why they are pushing it.  It is NOT to serve the best interest of the children.  The original bill gives us the proven best standards and assessments in the nation for a period of 5 years.  This is enough time to prove them out in MI and to flush the ill effects of Common Core and the related assessments out of the schools.  This substitute bill opens the door for the manipulation of the standards and the tests by the MDE. 

The MDE has been in charge of our schools for a long time and their own recent road show for new science and social studies standards detailed the poor results.  Let’s use proven standards and assessments for 5 years and let our children flourish.   From there we can decide the best course of action going forward.  We can continue with it after 5 years and tweak it as needed.  During the 5 years we could work on improving teacher training, and other things that need attention in education.  The original bill also kicks federal control of education in MI to the curb, gets rid of inappropriate data collection on our children, and clarifies local control and the rights of parents to opt their children out of objectionable material.  The substitute bill retains federal control and reduces the strength in the language on the other issues.  We need legislators that are willing to do whatever it takes to do right by the children of Michigan, not whatever it takes to protect Fed Ed, the MDE, and special interests.

Unless recommended changes are made to the substitute bill then all Michigan will get is a rebranding of the Common Core State Standards under the guise of a repeal, not to mention allow the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and C3 State Social Studies Standards.

Note: Be sure to see Karen Braun’s article on this development at Stop Common Core in Michigan’s website.

Common Core Under the Edwards Administration in Louisiana

louisiana-state-flag-2

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is in his second month in office and it is apparent he will not fight Common Core like his predecessor Bobby Jindal did. He has already dropped the lawsuits the Jindal administration initiated, but in doing so caused some turmoil with the state’s Attorney General as The News Star reported earlier this month.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday he will drop the appeal of a Bobby Jindal-era federal lawsuit seeking to block Common Core nationally, but new Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said late Thursday that would be his decision to make.

“As Louisiana attorney general, I am intervening in this case, and I will determine if it will proceed,” Landry said.

Richard Carbo, the governor’s communications director, fired back.

“As far as the office of the governor is concerned, this case is over,” Carbo said. “If the Attorney General feels the need to pursue further litigation, he will proceed using his own resources.”

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is set to vote March 5th on proposed revised ELA and Math academic standards. The review committee took the Common Core State Standards as the starting point and went from there.

I have NOT done a through review of these standards, but from scanning through the crosswalk document for the ELA standards it appears that what was mostly done was a revision of 81 standards, of those I read it appeared to be mainly tweaking the language of the original standards. This represents roughly 12% of the ELA standards. It still places an emphasis on information text so I can’t say that I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen.

I could see there was definitely more work done on the math standards as I perused the crosswalk document. There were three new standards added. One elementary math standard was moved to a different grade. The high school math standards were reordered to reflect Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II to do away with integrated math which I believe is a good change. Three standards were deleted. There were considerably more standards revised than what I saw with the ELA standards – 137 in all.  I think it’s unfortunate that like Common Core the draft Louisiana math standards stop at Algebra II.

The ELA standards appear to be closer to a rebranding while the math standards had more work done. I’ll let others better qualified judge the quality of the new standards. All of this may be for naught if they continue to use PARCC as an assessment anyway.

I know many Louisiana parents were frustrated with how the review process went. I’m interested to hear from Louisiana parents, what are you hearing about the new standards? What is your opinion of them?

Update: J.R. Wilson, a TAE advocate and math expert, made these observations in an email after looking at the K-8 2015-2016 Louisiana Standards, Common Core State Standards and draft standards for Louisiana in math:

At the second grade level, the three sets of standards are presented in the same order and are identical.  Absolutely no changes, additions, or omissions. 

At the kindergarten level, there are three standards that differ from the Common Core State Standards slightly but not significantly.  One standard has been added for LA that is not in the CCSS.  In essence they are the same standards with much identical wording except for three standards.  The difference is minor and negligible.  The rest of the standards are presented in the same order and are identical. 

Like the Common Core, the LA standards don’t require the standard algorithm until grade 4. 

New York Plans to Test on Revised Standards By 2018-2019 School Year

New York State Flag

It appears that New York may be repeating the mistake made with Common Core – a rush to test what was hastily implemented. The New York Board of Regents announced a timeline for the review, drafting, implementation and testing of revised educational standards.

This comes after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced recommendations made by the task force that he assembled.

The Albany Times-Union reports:

Once they have a draft set of standards in place for all grade levels, a public comment period will be held from July through October. Feedback will be collected through an online survey and outreach to groups like the New York State Parent Teacher Association, business councils, and ELA and math professional organizations, among others. The state Education Department will also create a mailbox for ongoing feedback and comments throughout the revision process.

Once feedback is in, the standards review committees will make final tweaks to the standards and submit a final set to the Board of Regents for consideration at its November 2016 meeting and adoption as early as its December 2016 meeting.

Starting in 2017, local districts will begin adjusting curriculum to reflect the changes. This phase will rely on each district’s teachers to develop curriculum materials, but also will include guidance and help from the state Education Department.

By summer 2017, teachers should start receiving training and professional development around the new standards and curriculum so they can be ready to start teaching the new standards in the fall of 2017. This would allow students to have a full year of instruction based on the new standards and curriculum by the time assessments are given in the 2018-19 school year.

Essentially, according to the article referenced above, the key to the drafting the standards drafting is that they are using the Common Core State Standards as a starting point, revising from there and “any questionable standards would be scrapped or revised to better reflect the will of New York educators and stakeholders.”

This is just a drawn out rebrand. There is adequate time given for public comment on the first draft, but unfortunately it looks like it will be online feedback only. No forums? It looks like they plan specific outreach to special interest groups, but not parents – the ones who have been pushing this reform. Reaching out to the state PTA doesn’t cut it. Also there will be no public feedback on the standards after the “tweaks” are made.

This reminds me too much of how the Common Core was drafted.  Then after a year of implementation we’re back to high-stakes testing on rebranded standards.