Focus on Education
2:53 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Regents pull teacher protections from Common Core changes in final vote

The state Board of Regents at the last minute reversed course and decided not to hold a final vote on some changes to weaken implementation of the Common Core standards in New York. 

Kids learning.
Kids learning.
Credit USFWS-Southeast

The Regents were set to vote to delay the effects of Common Core on high school seniors for five more years, until 2022, and to offer teachers some protections if they are fired during the next two years.

The board adopted the delay for the high school students. But they postponed a vote on a plan to allow teachers who are dismissed to argue that they were unable to teach properly because of inadequate implementation of the Common Core standards.

At the meeting, Vice Chancellor Anthony Bottar said the proposal has “raised a great deal of discussion regarding its implications and consequences from teachers, the Legislature and the Governor's office”.

Bottar said to “Give everyone a chance to better understand and gauge the correct path to follow.” the board would table that part of the motion.

The change is a win for Governor Cuomo, who had issued a statement condemning the Regents for the proposal, saying it was an “excuse” to put off the new teacher evaluation system which the governor has backed.  

The Regents say they will be accepting public comment on the teacher exemption proposal, and will reconsider it in April.

However, Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore tells WBFO News there wasn’t a lot of teacher protection within the Common Core learning standards to begin with. He says an appeal process is already in place for teacher evaluations.

“These are not real changes, these are cosmetic. I equate it to putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. Everybody knows that the Common Core has not been field tested to see whether it actually does what it  supposed to do," said Rumore.

Rumore says he doesn't see Tuesday’s response as a win for the Governor, but a "slap in the face" to Cuomo and the state legislature.