ALBANY - ALBANY _ As the Senate on Tuesday began to plot the issues remaining in the last two months of the legislative session, a hard-line view emerged on one of the most sensitive ones.
One of the thorniest issues will be how to smooth over an uproar among some parents statewide over standardized tests based on the national Common Core that are used to measure student performance in teacher evaluations. Teachers unions and some parents have pushed families to “opt out” of the tests that are stressing some students and which unions say are unfair factors in evaluating teachers.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) disagrees, strongly.
“Quite frankly, I grew up in a time -- I’m ancient -- but I grew up in a time when if I wouldn’t take a test or wouldn’t do something I was supposed to do my father would have whacked me on the side of the head and said, ‘Get in there and take the ... test,’” said DeFrancisco, 68.
DeFrancisco then channeled his father: “ ‘Life is not going to be perfect for you, young man, in fact you are going to have a lot of things you are going to have to get over.’ ”
That’s the view at home DeFrancisco said he would have faced, “Rather than, ‘John, I know you are getting nervous and I know you are getting upset about this. God forbid you ever have a bad day.’”