The Common Core is Stumbling in New York State: A Lesson in Crowdsourcing Democracy (“… the act of an institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call”)

“It is the mark of the mind untrained to take its own processes as valid for all men, and its own judgments for absolute truth.”
― Aleister Crowley,

The leadership of the NYS Senate, Dean Skelos, Jeff Klein and John Flanagan, and on the Assembly side Speaker Silver and Education Committee chair Cathy Nolan dropped the bomb that has been ticking for weeks.

Skelos, Klein and Flanagan averred,

We continue to support the goals of an improved education curriculum
that increases standards and ensures that students are college and career

However, after having spent months listening to parents, teachers,
administrators and educational professionals at public hearings conducted
throughout New York State, it is our belief that while the implementation
of Common Core Learning Standards may have been well intended, it has been
poorly executed.

We continue to have grave concerns over this flawed roll-out. Unless
the Board of Regents acts to alleviate the concerns of parents, teachers
and other educators, we call on the Regents to delay the use of Common Core
tests for high-stakes decisions about teachers, principals and students for
a minimum of two years. During this time, SED should continue to develop
curricula aligned with higher standards and assist local school districts
in developing their own curricula so teachers can successfully implement
higher learning standards and help students reach their maximum potential.

On the Assembly side Silver and Nolan announced,

In a statement, Silver and Education Committee Chairwoman Cathy Nolan (D-Queens) said while “New Yorkers share the same goal – to improve our schools and help prepare our students to be successful and college and career ready upon graduation,” the process is moving too fast.

“The use of Common Core aligned tests for high-stakes decisions for teachers, principals and students should be delayed, at a minimum, for two years,” they said, while the state Education Department works with local districts to develop a game plan.

Chancellor Tisch and Commissioner King, back pedaling rapidly punted,

“The Board of Regents and State Education Department will continue to work to improve implementation of the Common Core in our schools and all the laws and regulations we administer in furtherance of educational excellence.

“Earlier this year, Chancellor Tisch announced a Regents work group to review the implementation of the Common Core in New York. Next week, at the February Board of Regents meeting, the work group will present to the P-12 committee of the Board a series of possible options that reflect the input the Board has received from legislators and the public to make thoughtful adjustments to Common Core implementation.”

At meeting after meeting Commissioner King has pushed forward, the full implementation of the Common Core now, the children cannot wait, sort of a “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” looks like the torpedoes may win.

Of the 45 states that adopted the Common Core New York is only one of two states that rushed into full implementation, including full Common Core testing.

The August test results did not surprise the experts – a new test, limited release of sample questions, sporadic teacher training, and two-thirds of the test takers failed.

Hubris is defined as: a great or foolish amount of pride or confidence. The commissioner simply believed that if he attended enough meetings, spoke to enough parents and community members he could convince them is the “rightness” of his position. I have planned campaigns, slowly building support, building a grassroots network, earning buy-in, creating diverse constituencies, having patience, taking lessons from Madison and Hamilton (the Federalist Papers), carefully watching Daniel Day Lewis in “Lincoln,” and knowing “when to hold’um and when to fold’um.”

The Common Core was not delivered by Moses, they are not the Ten Commandments.

The Regents will be divided at their Monday meeting, the Commissioner and the Chancellor will offer a range of “options,” other members will support the position of the electeds calling for a moratorium, a delay.

Within a week or so a bill will be sitting on the Governor’s desk.

I’m a big fan of E. D. Hirsch, I reread “Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know,” every few years. What every educated person needs to know is the iconic Shelly poem.

And on the pedestal these words appear:

‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

Nothing beside remains.
Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias

3 responses to “The Common Core is Stumbling in New York State: A Lesson in Crowdsourcing Democracy (“… the act of an institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call”)

  1. Pingback: New York legislators ready to put Common Core Standards and student data collecting on hold | Seattle Education

  2. Keep an eye on the Regents Fellows–a shadow group setting policy options for the Regents. Reminds me of ALEC with members bearing little experience.


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