Albany, NY - January 21, 2014 - "The Governor's commitment to increasing the state's investment in quality universal pre-k will brighten the future for thousands of New York students. UPK has long been a priority for the Board of Regents. Now it's close to becoming a reality. New York will be a better place.
"We strongly agree with the Governor's proposal to ban standardized testing for our youngest students. The state has never tested K-2 students, and the Board of Regents has a long standing policy against it.
"The Governor's continuing strong support for the Common Core standards is exactly right. Virtually every educational stakeholder, from teacher unions to PTAs to administrators and school board members, along with the Governor's Education Reform Commission and 45 other states, agrees that the Common Core standards are the best path to success for our students. It makes sense; every year, far too many of our students leave high school without the skills and knowledge they need for college or the workplace. The Common Core will help them develop the tools they need to succeed in college and careers.
"Of course, implementation has not been perfect. We are raising standards and changing instruction across a state with nearly 700 school districts and millions of students. Any change as significant as the shift to the Common Core requires adjustments along the way. We have already made some. We have shortened testing time. We have asked for and received a federal waiver to stop double testing some 50,000 eighth grade students in accelerated math. We are preparing to ask the U.S. Department of Education for another waiver to increase assessment flexibility for English Language Learners and students with disabilities.
"We are open to other thoughtful adjustments. The panel the Governor announced today, along with the Regent's work group, can be useful vehicles to continue to strengthen Common Core implementation.
"The goal is and always has been to make sure every student in every classroom in New York has the best possible chance to be successful in and out of school. We remain fully committed to the Common Core, but we welcome constructive refinement to implementation to help meet that goal. We look forward to working with the Governor to improve implementation while maintaining the higher standards we have set to ensure that New York's students have every opportunity to succeed in life."