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Statement from StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis on the Regents proposal to delay the stakes attached to the Common Core Standards

The report issued today clearly demonstrates that the Regents, Chancellor Tisch and Commissioner King have heard the concerns raised as New York moves to higher standards. We are pleased that the Regents reiterated their support for moving forward with higher standards while offering solutions for reducing the amount of class time spent on standardized tests.

While there are positive aspects of the report, there are a number of areas in which the Regents went too far to appease the teachers union. The outcry that has been manufactured by the unions and reinforced by allies in the legislature does nothing to improve public education in New York State. Regardless of these Albany political games, students deserve a school system that will prepare them with the core skills they need for college and career and parents deserve to know that ineffective teachers will not be permitted to remain in classrooms. It is time to shift the focus back where it belongs -- on students.

Governor Cuomo has shown steadfast leadership in support of higher standards and teacher evaluations, and we are confident that the Governor's panel will address the shortcomings of the Regents' report.

- It's important to note that state-mandated tests account for less than than one percent of the school year. The Regents proposal to cap standardized tests imposed by local school districts is sensible.

- Each year, New York graduates 140,000 children who are not ready for college and career. By imposing a 9-year delay on the use of Common Core-aligned test results as part of graduation requirements, more than one million children will graduate high school and not be ready for college. This is unacceptable and we hope that the Regents adjust their timeline.

- A message has been spread to parents that the state has imposed high stakes on their children -- not so. With this 9-year delay, there are no state-mandated stakes on students until 2022. It is up to local school districts to determine whether test scores should be used in promotion and placement decisions. While there are no state-mandated stakes for students until 2022, there are real life stakes for the children who graduate high school unready for the world they're headed into.

- By threatening to oust incumbent Regents and rile up stakeholders, the teachers union and their allies are forcing the Regents to tamper with the state's new evaluation system, which was enacted with the full consent of the union. Parents deserve to know that ineffective teachers will not be permitted to remain in classrooms.

- It is a shame that the Regents were pressured into delaying the EngageNY data portal. On February 5th, the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled in favor of Commissioner King on every single count, asserting that the State Education Department had followed every law and had taken every necessary precaution to safeguard student data. The decision is attached.

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