The New York State Board of Regents announced on February 10, 2014 that it is slowing down its implementation of the Common Core standards. This move came in response to increasing criticism from parents, teachers, and lawmakers from across the state. Schools will now have five additional years to fully implement the Common Core, moving the target date from 2017 to 2022.
This change will have a dramatic impact on English education in New York State. Teachers and students will now have more time to work with the standards in preparation for Common Core-aligned state exams. Last year’s grade 3-8 ELA assessments were aligned to the Common Core for the first time, and results were drastically lower than those in previous years. This year, the state will offer a Common Core English Regents exam two weeks before it gives the traditional version. Yesterday’s announcement included the caveat that students’ test scores would not affect teacher ratings for the next two years.
The New York State Education Department has been releasing curriculum modules on its website (EngageNY.org) to help ELA teachers with the implementation of the Common Core. These resources, along with the five-year extension, should help to make the Common Core transition less about politics and more about teaching and learning.