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Assembly GOP assails Cuomo Common Core commission

Eighth-grade students at Pierson Middle School in Sag

Eighth-grade students at Pierson Middle School in Sag Harbor take the New York State 2015 Common Core English Language Arts on April 16, 2015. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

ALBANY - Long Island Republicans are looking to make hay with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's newest education commission.

Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook) said Wednesday the Democrat governor should scratch his Common Core commission -- and scrap the Common Core academic standards and exams altogether.

"We don't need to change the name, we don't need to modify it, and we most certainly do not need another commission or task force -- whose membership is chosen by the governor -- to tell us what we already know about Common Core," Curran said in a news release. "With opt-out rates skyrocketing, these are the latest brilliant ideas coming from the governor's office on Common Core. Let's be clear: the governor and Assembly Democrats, based on the three ideas above, have not had a change of heart about this terrible curriculum."

Assemb. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) noted the task force had some "familiar faces" from the governor's previous education panels and questioned whether it would overhaul the standards and curriculum as promised.

"Many familiar faces from his 2012 and 2014 commissions, those responsible for the failed rollout of Common Core, are back to make sure the education storm continues," Palumbo said. "That's not showing any real commitment to fix the flawed system he created."

Cuomo announced in early September that he wanted to "reboot" Common Core following a massive boycott of standardized exams last spring. The panel will be led by Richard Parsons, former CEO of Citigroup and Time Warner, and includes union and school board representatives and members of the majority in the Assembly (Democrats) and Senate (Republicans). It also includes state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia -- who had previously launched her own Common Core review panel.

The governor promised a "top to bottom review" and said he wanted to reduce the number of standardized tests.

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