Andrew Cuomo (51864)
Credit: Pat Arnow

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Common Core is broken and needs to be reviewed.

“There has been an ongoing discussion about Common Core standards nationwide and in this state as well,” said Cuomo in a statement. “I have said repeatedly my position is that while I agree with the goal of Common Core standards, I believe the implementation by the State Education Department (SED) has been deeply flawed. The more time goes on, the more I am convinced of this position.”

The governor said he’ll appoint a group from an education commission he already created to study Common Core in New York. He wants the group to reveal their findings by the time he’s readying his State of the State address in January.

“A growing chorus of experts have questioned the intelligence of SED’s Common Core program, and objective educators across the state have found the implementation problematic, to say the least,” stated Cuomo. “The new commissioner of education has inherited this problem and I understand has been meeting with parents, educators and students and has heard the same concerns. Recently, SED has made comments about organized efforts to have parents choose to opt out of standardized tests. While I understand the issue and SED’s valid concern, I sympathize with the frustration of the parents.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie stated his support for Cuomo’s decision and hopes that the end game of educating children is kept in mind.

“The Assembly majority has always been an outspoken advocate for education policies that put the needs of our students first,” Heastie said. “There is no question that we have a duty to educate our children and ensure their ability to compete in their future collegiate and professional pursuits. Earlier this year, the decision of thousands of parents across the state to ‘opt out’ of standardized testing for their children shows that an increasing number of New Yorkers are not satisfied with the current implementation of the new education standards and related standardized tests.”

“The fact is that the current Common Core program in New York is not working and must be fixed,” said Cuomo in his statement. “To that end, the time has come for a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Common Core standards, curriculum, guidance and tests in order to address local concerns. I am taking this action not because I don’t believe in standards, but because I do.”

Last month, the city unveiled the Common Core-aligned state English and math exams. The results saw an increase in students scoring proficiently in both subjects this year compared with 2014. According to city officials, in the third year of Common Core-testing in New York, New York City students narrowed the achievement gap with New York state students in English.

With the 2015 test results, 35.2 percent of students met proficiency standards in math, up from 34.2 percent last year. In English, 30.4 percent of students met the standards, up from 28.4 percent last year. Also, the number of students scoring at level one (the lowest level of proficiency) across New York City has also decreased by 7,000 students in English and 4,700 in math (level one is the lowest level of proficiency). The number of students performing at level four increased as well.

The stats also indicate that New York City students improved across all ethnic groups.