Voices of reason have weighed in on the implementation of Common Core standards and related school curricula and tests. The question is whether those sensible voices will be shouted down by more emotional ones, and more self-interested ones.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Common Core Implementation Panel released its report Monday. It includes commonsense suggestions to make Common Core's path a bit smoother:
Banning standardized "bubble tests" for children earlier than third grade. The tests are only required by districts (not the state), but they upset parents and kids tremendously -- with very little gain.
Keeping English and math results on standardized tests off permanent records for third through eighth grade.
Training teachers better and making sure they get all Common Core curriculum resources promised by the state.
Educating parents better on Common Core, and doing a better job of listening to their input on the standards.
Halting the state plan to store student information in the "cloud" via the company inBloom, a poorly explained and potentially expensive move that led opponents to fear security breaches or the use of their kids' data by for-profit companies.
To his credit, Cuomo (or rather, his panel) did not suggest the politically popular steps of canceling the tests for third- through eighth-graders or postponing teacher assessments partially based on those tests, as recommended by some state lawmakers and Regents. The governor may take tremendous heat for standing up for the Common Core, but he's right, and his panel ought to be heeded.