Is the NYS Education Department Listening Now?

Sometimes I don’t know why I take two hours on a Sunday evening to watch and listen to the NY State Senate Education Committee meet with the New York Education Commissioner John B. King Jr on Thursday, January 23rd.  You can view it on Senator Flanagan’s website here. Two hours of over 5 to 6 state senators saying to the education commissioner to delay the implementation of the Common Core Standards.  Senator LaValle opened the meeting slamming his hand to “push the delay button.”  “It’s not working and we need to stop.  The roll out was bad and children are being hurt.”  

Dr, King’s response was that there is a confusion about the CCSS and APPR and requirements of the state test.  He kept going back to how the department requires certain tests mandated by the US Education Department.

Senator Marcellino  reiterated saying, “When we talk about a delay, we’re talking about giving educators time.  Parents are very concerned.  Give the professionals a chance to catch-up.  It takes time.”  He went on to say that the State Education Department “changes requirements like I change my socks.”  

Commissioner Kings stated that we have phased in the Common Core since 2010 and with Class of 2017, we will see a 7 year implementation of the Common Core.  Senator Martins corrected the commissioner, saying that implementation was started in 2013-2014 and we only have three years of a poor implementation process.  Senator Seward referenced the “building and plane in the air” and that scenarios has been a failure and referenced to hit the pause button.

Senator Latimer got really emotional in his remarks and slammed his hand on the table in reference to “hit the delay button.”  Senator Flanagan, the head of the education committee, ended the meeting asking, why doesn’t the Education Department just say that “we made a mistake and we know it hasn’t gone as smoothly as it should and we apologize.”  He referenced how the mayor of NYC apologized for the poor plowing after the snow storm.  

That is a great question.  Why can’t the NYS Education Department just says, “We are so sorry folks for rushing into this process.”  Is it because of federal money?  Is it because we have to be one of the first to do it, and in the end have our kids suffer?  Is it because of the sense of pride?  It is okay to say, “Whoa, let’s slow down some here.” 

To me, this two hour meeting was a  warning to Commissioner King and the Board of Regents.  Senator Flanagan puts it bluntly as well as Senator Martins, that if something isn’t done, and soon, then the NY State legislative body will do something because their constituents will not stop.  As Senator Flanagan stated, “If this gets put off until June, the public will go nuts.”  I think the Board of Regents has their work cut out for them in February.  Good luck! I’m optimistic as always!

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