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Regents adjust implementation of Common Core

Rochester Business Journal
February 10, 2014

Changes are on the way for the Common Core Standards.

The New York State Board of Regents P-12 Education and Higher Education committees announced Monday several measures to adjust the implementation of the controversial standards.

The full board is expected to act on the committee reports Tuesday.

Included in the changes are a delay of the impact of Common Core-related state assessments on educators and students, as well as a reduction in the level of local school district testing associated with the new teacher evaluation law and higher standards for teaching and learning.

Under the changes, the requirement to pass Common Core-based Regents exams at the college- and career-ready level will be extended, making the class of 2022 the first to face the higher requirements.

To ensure students are not unfairly penalized by the transition to higher standards, state officials said requirements for Academic Intervention Services also will be adjusted.

The changes also reduced local testing, though state officials noted no additional tests were created as part of Common Core implementation.
 
“We have listened to the concerns of parents and teachers,” said Merryl Tisch, Board of Regents chancellor, in a statement. “We’ve heard the concerns expressed at the hearings and forums, and we regret that the urgency of our work, and the unevenness of implementation, have caused frustration and anxiety for some of our educators, students and their families.”

The state also has heard strong support for higher standards, and the report is meant to “make significant and timely changes to improve our shared goal of implementing the Common Core,” Tisch added.

John King Jr., state education commissioner, said adjustments are not unexpected given the scope of Common Core.
 
“Any major shift—especially one involving 700 school districts, more than 4,500 schools, and millions of students—is going to require adjustments and course corrections along the way,” he said. “The implementation of the higher standards has been uneven, and these changes will help strengthen the important work happening in schools throughout the state.

“As challenging as implementation has been, we have to remember one important fact: the old standards were not adequate.”

The committees adopted several measures presented in a report from a regents’ work group.
The work group was headed by Wade Norwood, a regent from Rochester. He also characterized the changes as an inevitable part of a sweeping change like Common Core.
 
“When the board approved the shift to the Common Core four years ago, we knew we would have to make adjustments as the standards rolled out,” Norwood said in a statement. “The work group balanced the concerns all of us have heard with the progress we’ve made toward raising the bar for our students.”

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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