StudentsFirstNY Statement on Recommendations from the Common Core Task Force

"The report from the Common Core Task Force shows that New York remains dedicated to high academic standards. The task force did a good job of engaging stakeholders and retaining the intent of Common Core while adjusting to the state's unique needs. Maintaining high standards and rigorous annual assessments is critical to ensuring parents know whether their children are being prepared for college and career," said StudentsFirstNY Executive Director Jenny Sedlis.
"The recommendations also include a temporary transition period where student test scores on state tests will not be used in teacher evaluations. We must get to a place where teachers are evaluated honestly and fairly based on whether children are actually learning. The old system that found virtually every educator effective when most students are below grade level did a disservice to children." 
During the transition, there are a number of things that must happen:
  • The task force has recommended that there shall be a transitional period but that there will be a return to the use of state test results in evaluations. New York must have a commitment to returning to the use of state test results as a significant factor in teacher and principal evaluations. 
  • The evaluation system must still be run using state test data, even if there are not consequences for teachers based on those results. Teachers and principals need evaluation results with state test data to improve teacher practice, and parents need that key information to make decisions for their children. The data should be made public so that policymakers can see whether children in low income communities of color are disproportionately saddled with ineffective teachers and so that comparisons can be made across schools. 
  • The State Education Department must audit districts that have major discrepancies between evaluation results and student performance on state tests. If the evaluations in this transition period bear no resemblance to student achievement on state tests, then the state must intervene.


StudentsFirstNY is a grassroots education advocacy organization dedicated to improving public schools throughout New York State.



Michael Nitzky


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