The way that New York state is implementing the Common Core State Standards is giving the Affordable Care Act website a run for its money as worst rollout ever.
The New York State Board of Education has wrestled with how to put this federal program into effect. Commissioner John B. King Jr. traveled throughout the state last year to solicit input on how to best move forward with the Common Core State Standards.
Not all of the hearings went as well as Mr. King had likely hoped. And more people have grown concerned about how implementing these standards will impact education on the local level.
The growing opposition to the Common Core program has resulted in the Board of Regents recently granting public schools throughout the state an additional five years to fully implement the standards. While students may soon start being exposed to some aspects of the initiative, those in the Class of 2022 will be the first who will have to pass tests based on the new standards; the initial group of students selected for this was the Class of 2017.
This was a huge mistake on the part of the Board of Regents. Members of the Class of 2022 wont graduate for another eight years.
So the seven classes before them will continue to be moved through a system that has shown itself not to be very effective. Why should we not insist on all students being educated according to standards that will better prepare them for college and the workforce?
The one piece of good news is that the Board of Regents backed off a plan to also delay implementing a new process for evaluating teachers. Representatives of the Board of Regents initially wanted to succumb to demands by teachers unions that this plan be put off as well.
But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo criticized the board for even considering this, and members rethought their position. Part of reforming our system of education means that teachers should be held more accountable, and there is no reason we cant begin this phase right away.
There are, however, some legitimate concerns about putting the Common Core State Standards into effect. One of the complaints is that some districts do not yet have the necessary resources to start teaching according to the new criteria. If the state is going to require districts to meet new standards, the textbooks and related material must be in place.
There are obviously some serious flaws with New Yorks plan to carry out the Common Core State Standards. Some people are determined to thwart the initiative altogether.
But just as ignoring the problems with Common Core is no answer, neither is putting a stop to educational progress. To develop a nationally recognized set of education standards that all our children should achieve is a sound concept. Now we have to work together to identify how to help students meet the goal of living up to those standards, which will give them a real boost for their futures.