Common Core

Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

  School administrators are closely watching a letter campaign that’s taking place in the days before school starts that could lead to even more children opting out of state standardized tests.

The campaign, taking place on Facebook and other social media, aims to send children to class on the first day of the school year with a letter signed by their parents saying they will not be taking the standardized tests this year.

classroom
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  State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia says she won’t prevent parents who want their children to skip the state’s standardized tests from doing so. The commissioner detailed her views on the controversial Opt Out movement in an interview with public radio and television.

Twenty percent of children this year boycotted the third through eight grade math and English tests associated with the Common Core learning standards.

  The state education commissioner’s plans to quell the testing opt out movement is getting some back lash from some Republicans in the legislature, including a former teacher. 

Kremer Reacts To New York Standardized Test Results

Aug 17, 2015
Tim Kremer
Tim Kremer

The debates over standardized testing, teacher evaluations and opting out of the tests by students with the backing of their parents were all renewed recently as New York released the results of the math and English language exams for grades three through eight. In April, 20 percent of students opted out of the exams and of those who did take the tests, just over 38 percent were proficient in math and just over 31 percent in English. WAMC's Brian Shields spoke with the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, Tim Kremer, about the test results. 

Challenges Await For New State Ed Commissioner

Jul 14, 2015
Karen DeWitt

New York's new education commissioner has been on the job just over a week, and she’s been traveling the state on a listening tour to reach out to teachers, school boards and others who’ve been buffeted by an intense political climate during the most recent legislative session.  Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia attended a meeting of the Rural Schools Association in Cooperstown Monday.

Karen DeWitt

Newly appointed State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says her first order of business is to listen to parents, teachers and administrators around New York.

There are interesting stories about Common Core and standardized testing all over the country, but if you want real entertainment, you have to look closely at Florida. Today on the Best Of Our Knowledge, we’ll hear how developing education standards and valid evaluations has been a comedy of errors in the Sunshine State.

We’ll also see how another southern state, North Carolina, is trying to find ways to pay its best teachers. And we’ll spend an academic minute matching the personalities of students and teachers for better early education.

  Some legal developments regarding charter schools and common core.

The state attorney general's office has asked a Supreme Court judge to toss out a lawsuit challenging New York's formulas for charter school funding. A group of parents filed the challenge, claiming the formulas discriminate against charters in favor of traditional public schools. The judge did not issue an immediate decision.

Karen Magee: In It For The Long Haul

Apr 23, 2015

How many times have we heard that old cliché: It’s a marathon, not a sprint?

With education in flux across New York thanks to the Common Core, there's a mixed reaction to Governor Andrew Cuomo's provisions for it in the freshly finished budget.  

$1.6 billion has been allocated for education in a spending plan that includes several reforms. The budget negotiations are only the latest fault line between the governor, legislative leaders and the powerful teachers’ union.

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