Parents protest at state Ed Dept. forum on Common Core...

Parents protest at state Ed Dept. forum on Common Core rollout in November 2013. Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz

While much of the Senate buzz has been about Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and federal prosecutors, that’s not what the rank-and-file Republicans were wringing their hands about during an especially lengthy closed-door conference last Wednesday.

 It was the fallout from teacher evaluations and standardized testing.

Republicans spent more than two hours discussing the spike in students’ boycotting, or “opting out” of standardized tests last week, and the heat some politicians are getting for approving a bill that more closely ties teachers’ evaluations to students’ test scores. Senators are kicking around ideas to address the issue.

Skelos discussed the investigation briefly, said senators, who added they are solidly behind the leader.