01/18/15 8:00am
01/18/2015 8:00 AM
Chancellor Meryll Tisch (left) alongside Regent Roger Tilles at a Common Core forum in Eastport in November 2013. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Chancellor Meryll Tisch (left) alongside Regent Roger Tilles at a Common Core forum in Eastport in November 2013. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Ordinarily, letters exchanged between governors and high-level bureaucrats don’t make it to the top of The New York Times bestseller list. But, sometimes, one comes across a letter that makes one sit up and say, “Whoa, what’s going on here?” I refer to a recent letter about education reform sent by Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch to Gov. Cuomo’s office. (It was also signed by the new “acting” commissioner of education, Elizabeth Berlin.)

What’s striking in Ms. Tisch’s recommendations to the governor is the unstated proposition that there is a big difference between public education and state education, and that state education is far superior. From the chancellor’s point of view, public education hasn’t just failed poor, black and Hispanic children the most, but has somehow even failed kids in Great Neck, Jericho, Scarsdale and Garden City — even though many of them go on to the best universities in the nation.

The remedy? State education. (more…)

08/21/14 2:12pm
08/21/2014 2:12 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON  FILE PHOTO

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO

The New York State Department of Education has released the results of Common Core-aligned math and English Language Arts exams taken this spring by students statewide, and outcomes from local districts fall in line with wider trends.

Those trends pointed to improved scores in math overall, with ELA results generally falling or staying flat.

Statewide, proficiency rates (the number of students scoring at levels 3 and 4) increased more in math than in English. In 2013, 31.2 percent of students achieved proficiency on the math exam; that number jumped to 35.8 percent in 2014. In English, the proficiency rate ticked up one-tenth of a percent, to 31.4 percent.

The tests were — and remain — a source of conflict for many parents and teachers throughout the state. Part of New York’s Common Core State Standards, state legislators delayed some of the impacts the tests have in evaluating teacher performance in reaction to opposition from the public. The standards came after New York opted into the federal program, which supplies the state with education funds otherwise not available.

This year’s results provided the first opportunity to compare students’ test performance in consecutive years. Educators with the state’s Board of Regents, which has been implementing Common Core, said that despite what some may consider low proficiency levels – numbers that opponents say defeat the students taking the tests — long-term, the plan is going as scheduled.

“This is still a transition period,” said New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch. “It will take time before the changes taking place in our classrooms are fully reflected in the test scores.”

This year’s results are below:

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08/16/14 8:00am
08/16/2014 8:00 AM
Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (right) and Senator Ken LaValle at a Common Core forum last year in Eastport. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (right) and Senator Ken LaValle at a Common Core forum last year in Eastport. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Common Core is a federal government power grab disguised as a “revamping” of our nation’s educational system — an educational system that, with all its flaws, managed to produce people who put a man on the moon and gave the world the Internet.  (more…)

08/03/14 12:00pm
08/03/2014 12:00 PM
Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (right) at a Common Core forum last year in Eastport. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo (right) at a Common Core forum last year in Eastport. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

There may be another party line on the November ballot for state office seekers.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, the GOP challenger facing Governor Andrew Cuomo in the upcoming election, has launched a petition effort to establish a Stop Common Core party line focused on capturing voters unhappy with the controversial Common Core State Standards initiative.  (more…)

05/29/14 11:59am
05/29/2014 11:59 AM
The Riverhead Charter School in Calverton.

The Riverhead Charter School in Calverton.

Riverhead Charter School has been in and out of the local newspapers this year due to allegations of “Union busting.”  The local newspapers have done an excellent job with covering these allegations. We commend the media for providing the public with unbiased accounts of the happenings at RCS.  (more…)

05/08/14 6:00am
05/08/2014 6:00 AM
Southold School District Superintendent David Gamberg .

Southold School District Superintendent David Gamberg. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson, file)

To the editor:

Southold School District Superintendent David Gamberg has been an outspoken critic of the Common Core Learning Standards implementation and its testing requirements. So his expressed desire to apply “common sense” to education is not surprising.

But hey, it’s common sense to put things back where you found them. But why, then, are shopping carts all over the parking lot at the end of a market day?  (more…)