ALBANY | New York legislative leaders Tuesday urged state officials to delay for two years the use of Common Core-aligned tests in teacher-employment and student-placement decisions, citing the "flawed rollout" of the new learning standards.
Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos said in similar statements that they support preparing students better for college and careers. They said the state Education Department should continue to develop curricula aligned with the higher standards.
But "Unless the Board of Regents acts to alleviate the concerns of parents, teachers and other educators, we call on the Regents to delay the use of Common Core tests for high-stakes decisions about teachers, principals and students for a minimum of two years," a statement from Skelos, co-leader Jeff Klein and Senate education chairman John Flanagan said.
The Senate and Assembly leaders said the state also should delay plans for a statewide student database until the state addresses concerns about privacy and security.
Forty-six states have adopted the Common Core standards. But critics say the standards were rushed out in New York, leaving districts to scramble for teaching materials and teachers to test students on material they had not yet learned. Student scores on annual standardized tests dropped markedly after assessments for third through eighth grades were aligned with the new standards last spring.
"The leadership has clearly heard the concerned parents and educators who support high standards but know that a moratorium on the use of standardized tests in high-stakes decisions is essential until the state Education Department makes major corrections to its failed implementation plan," said Richard Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers.
The state's largest teachers union has been calling for a three-year moratorium.
But Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has acknowledged problems with the Common Core rollout, said a moratorium would be premature. Cuomo said last month that he would appoint a panel of lawmakers and education experts to find and fix flaws by the end of the legislative session.
A separate panel of Board of Regents members is expected to make its own recommendations next week, according to a statement by Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner John King Jr.