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Cuomo's Common Core Review: Promise Or Politics?

Governor Andrew Cuomo at his 2015 State of the State address.

New York’s Common Core is about to get another hard look.

Earlier this year the state’s Education Commissioner started a review of the standards. Now Governor Andrew Cuomo is forming his own panel for the same purpose. He says Common Core implementation was flawed and that he sympathizes with parents who opted their children out of state tests.

But some educators are skeptical about Cuomo's effort. He convened a similar education reform commission in 2012. Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES administrator Jeff Craig says this kind of thing doesn’t deliver results on the ground.

“I don’t think people feel these commissions have been fruitful in the past,” he says. “It only seems to complicate things and add drama, rather than resolve anything at all.”

Craig says the governor’s approach just adds to existing tension around state testing and teacher evaluations.

“Here we are trying to start a new school year, and...more drama,” he says. He adds that all the controversy distracts schools and could take away from student learning. “It’s a subtraction, it’s not an addition.”

Tim Kremer, director of the New York State School Boards Association, is more optimistic. He says some parts of the standards do need to change, particularly around state testing.

“If his study results in the formulation or the direction to a new set of standards, then more power to him,” Kremer says, “But if it’s just to denounce what we have, the status quo, with no recommendation as to where we go from here, then it’s not going to be that helpful.”

Cuomo set a January deadline for his panel and aims to include their recommendations in his State of the State address.