Petition Challenges Cuomo’s Common Core Teacher Evaluation Policy

More than 100 education officials from across the state form an “Alliance to Save Public Education” against Governor Cuomo’s Common Core teacher approval evaluation policy

Common Core has long been one of the hot-button topics in New York politics, eliciting complaints in everyone from parents to district superintendents and bringing Governor Cuomo’s approval ratings to record lows.

The latest of Cuomo’s proposals for Common Core involves teacher approval ratings; while most teachers are rated as effective, the concern is that their students’ test scores do not reflect this. In response, more than 100 New York school district officials from all over the state have signed a declaration that this proposal should be under closer scrutiny from experts, and that it requires further debate before passing.

Related: The 411 on Common Core and Race to the Top Programs

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In a region with the oldest public school in the state (Newburgh Free Academy) and a history of superior education, many believe Common Core is a detriment to education practices that are already more than adequate. Some of the area school districts represented in this petition are: Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Greene, Irvington, Mamaroneck, Monroe-Woodbury, Nyack, Ossining, Pelham, Pleasantville, Rye Neck, Spackenkill, and Yonkers.

Complaints about Common Core range from concern that the newly mandated course material does not adequately prepare students for anything apart from tests, to concern that the high-stakes testing system is damaging to K-3 students who previously were taught largely with play-based principles. This Forbes article references a series of tweets from comedian Louis CK, which perfectly echo the sentiments of New York parents with children in public school: “My kids used to love math, now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!” This particular new policy is believed to be detrimental for teachers, whose quality of education does not always match students’ efforts.

Related: Common Core’s Biggest Advocate Resigns

As Cuomo’s relationship with teachers becomes more strenuous — he has quite a bit to say about the “industry” of teachers’ unions — it is unclear how his administration will respond to the pressure put on them by this petition. 

How do you feel about Common Core? Do you agree with the governor’s evaluation policy? Sound off in the comments section below.

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