Tuesday, February 11, 2014


The Regents Task Force has released a report that recommends some minor changes in implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

Newsday offered this summary of the recommendations and vote of the Board of Regents to accept them.

The board voted to:
-- Delay until 2022 the graduation requirement that high school students must pass tougher, Common-Core-aligned Regents tests in English and math with higher "college- and career-ready" scores. The current passing grade of 65 will stand.
-- Have Education Department advise districts against using state test results in grades 3-8 to make decisions on student promotion or placement.
-- Clarify meaning of new test scores for grades 3-8 in English Language Arts and math. A "Level 2" score on Common Core tests is "on track" for eventual Regents' passage.
-- Limit the time students can spend on local standardized tests required by the teacher evaluation system, capping it at 1 percent of overall instructional time.
-- Allow appeals by teachers and principals rated "ineffective" under the new evaluation system because of student performance on Common-Core-aligned tests given in the 2012-13 and/or 2013-14 school years.
-- Lobby the governor and State Legislature for:
$10 million in state funds to develop a test to better measure the progress of Spanish-speaking English language learners.
$8.4 million in state funds to print more versions of state tests, so more questions can be released to teachers, students and parents for review and study.

Anyone needing to see that there are some real policy differences between the state teachers' union (New York State United Teachers) and our own United Federation of Teachers should look closely at the reaction of the two Presidents and a Vice President to the Regents Report.

Here is what NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi said:

"Instead of listening to parents and educators who are grappling with the fallout from the State Education Department's disastrous implementation, the task force dismissed their concerns with a report that, in the end, adds up to a 'we know best' collection of minor adjustments," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi, who noted - contrary to a comment by the governor - that the Regents did not pause or delay anything that is not already in law.

And then he added: 

Regents giving away "ice in winter"; we don't need another snow job we need a moratorium and won't settle for less!

NYSUT Vice President and one time UFT leader Maria Neira noted:

"The task force worked in secret, and the Regents accepted its report with no public input," Neira said. "This lack of transparency and lack of responsiveness to the deeply held concerns of parents, teachers and others in public education is, frankly, indicative of a body that seems to care more about the corporations influencing public education than what parents and practitioners know will work."

Now for the reaction of UFT President Michael Mulgrew:

The Regents’ recommendations do not solve the real problem with the Common Core rollout — the lack of curriculum. The Regents should be offering several detailed programs that any school district in the state could use for free.

That is our President's statement in full.

Is the real problem with Common Core a lack of curriculum?

Which leaders are in line with what the teachers, parents and students in NY are thinking?

The whole report is here; the reaction from New York State Allies for Public Education is here.  As usual, there is insightful analysis from Reality Based Educator.

Meanwhile, the story broke earlier at the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association website that Francis Lewis High School Chapter Leader Arthur Goldstein has agreed to run for  the NYSUT Executive Vice President position against Unity's Andy Pallotta.

The election will be held at the Hilton in NYC at the NYSUT Convention on April 5. Only Representative Assembly Delegates are entitled to vote.  In NYC this means only members of Michael Mulgrew's Unity Caucus, but outside of NYC there is a growing group of local leaders looking to move New York State United Teachers (all the teacher unions in the state combined) away from complete control by Michael Mulgrew's handpicked candidates.

I don't think there is another person out there who is better qualified than Arthur for the Executive Vice President position.  He is Chapter Leader for one of the biggest high schools in New York City who was reelected without opposition.  Arthur is not afraid to tell the truth to power but he is a voice of reason who is no knee jerk oppositionist.


Anonymous said...

Curriculum is a strike issue. That's what we need is more modules. Well maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Go Arthur. Great candidate!!!!

I noticed that... said...

Arthur is the true educator for the position of NYSUT Exec VP. He's not beholden to anyone except to ensure that education is taken out of the hands of the deformers.

Best candidate ever!!!!

Anonymous said...

Agree 100%.