With the New York State elections just around the corner, we thought it would be important to highlight some of the candidates and their position on Common Core. This page is only focused on their position on education and does not cover their whole platform or other campaign issues. Governor Cuomo is not part of this list as he has made it clear he will not budge and will continue on pushing Common Core in our schools.
This is very much a Work In Progress (WIP) and this page will be continually updated with relevant new information. We welcome feedback and information pertaining to these candidates. Please send this information via email.
THIS LIST IS NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED AS AN ENDORSEMENT OF ANY PARTICULAR CANDIDATE BY
The current governor famously once said he would be the student’s lobbyist. He has been anything but. Whether it was disproportionately using education funding cuts to balance the state budget, rushing Common Core implementation or turning his back on thousands of lower-income students when he broke his promise to deliver on the Education Investment Tax Credit, Cuomo has not delivered for children. Nothing is more important than a good education. It’s as vital as a loving, safe, healthy and happy home for a child. The Astorino/Moss Education Plan seeks to bring control of education back to the local level with great input from teachers and parents, to develop the best education possible for our children where they are prepared to compete in both the global economy and life.
The Astorino/Moss Education Plan will improve education in New York by:
• Replacing Common Core
• Reforming the Board of Regents
• Increasing the availability of vocational training and STEM study in schools
• Better preparing a child to succeed in college, career and in life.
• Creating 3 new diplomas and giving students and parents more choices for school and for study.
1. STOP Common Core and replace with better standards and curriculum developed by New York educators, with feedback and input from local teachers and parents, and greater control at the district level (one model could be the “Lost Standards” that were being developed by former Regent Saul Cohen’s team from 2008-2010 before being scrapped in favor of Common Core and the federal money that came with it). Main reasons for Common Core opposition:
a. The standards are experimental, conceived in secrecy with no public hearings on the draft standards, and never tested.
b. Few, if any, K-12 teachers were involved in writing the standards.
c. It is considered by many to be developmentally inappropriate in the early grades and not based on well-researched child development knowledge.
d. It is education guided at the federal level – not the state and local level.
e. It actually lowers standards according to many experts, including Dr. James Milgrim and Dr. Sandra Stosky – the two content experts on the Common Core validation committee who refused to affirm the standards.
2. Develop more accurate measures of student, teacher and school performance, reducing reliance on high stakes assessments, with a more balanced, portfolio approach.
3. Reform Board of Regents by creating an elected 13-member board (regional districts electing their own representative to the Board).
-This reform would shift the power away from the Assembly Speaker and to the people.
4. Governor appoints Education Commissioner who must be confirmed by the Board of Regents with a majority vote.
-This reform would shift more responsibility for education to the Governor who is accountable to voters every four years. His or her pick for Education Commissioner would work with the Board of Regents to determine education policy in NYS.
5. Increase availability of vocational training in schools for careers in home economics, carpentry, mechanics, electrical, etc.
-In recent years, schools have moved away from vocational training. This is a mistake as many students not interested in college would benefit greatly from learning a skilled trade and be ready to enter the workforce upon graduation from High School.
6. Increase coordination between community colleges, local school districts and local industry so students can be properly counseled on the present and future availability of jobs, the types of jobs, their pay and benefits, and the skills needed to do these jobs.
7. Increase Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in schools.
-There is a gap in the growing number of hi-tech jobs and careers and the number of Americans qualified and trained to do these jobs. To solve this, there needs to be a greater emphasis on STEM in schools.
8. Create three new diplomas:
a. Career and Technical Education (CTE)
b. STEM Regents
c. Academic Regents:
-Offering more choices to students and parents will better capture a young adult’s motivation in addition to his or her talents and interests.
9. Ensure full funding for special education services.
10. Increase life skills training in schools.
a. Nutritional literacy instruction in Middle School
b. Financial literacy instruction in High School
11. Provide more school choices for parents of children in schools determined to be failing.
-Once accurate measures of school performance are determined allow parents in schools that have failed for consecutive years other school options for their child. Options can be a different public school or Charter school. Last option could be voucher to be used for private or religious school.
12. Pass the Education Investment Tax Credit.
Governor Cuomo failed to deliver on his promise. The EITC would allow for more scholarships to private schools and more funding for public and private schools.
13. Create a new marketing campaign to encourage greater parental involvement in their child’s education.
-Teachers will say, the best students are the ones with the most involved parent(s). Greater parental or guardian involvement needs to be encouraged.
14. Combat the problem of chronic absenteeism in New York schools.
The first step to a good education is being in the classroom. Chronic absenteeism is a serious problem that leads to all other sorts of issues for the child and the community.
15. Begin foreign language instruction in elementary school.
While mastering the English language will remain the priority, study of a foreign language is a critical step in building a well-rounded and global student. Starting in the early grades takes advantage of a child’s greater capacity to more easily learn a language as the brain is developing.
Common Core is one of the most important and personal issues in my opinion. Not only because of the enormity of the backlash towards it that has come from countless parents across New York, but because I am one of those parents opposed to it. My daughter Gracie, my youngest, is forced to deal with this debacle of overreach and I have come to see it at the proverbial straw that has broken the camel’s back. Do what you want to me, but stay away from my daughter--stay away from our children!
The system we had before wasn’t the best, but at least parents could help their children with it. This nightmare even removes us from this equation as the ‘problems’ that Common Core puts before our children are so convoluted and (quite frankly) bizarre that we can’t help our children with them. Only the schools, the teachers–the State–are able to help our children out, setting into motion the further degradation of the bonds between us and our children, an outcome that I cannot help but believe was part of the reason behind the creation of Common Core in the first place.
Our children are our most important gift and once again government and big corporations have found a way to further drive us away from each other. I cannot help but think of these words from John D. Rockefeller:
‘I do not want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.’
Can Common Core give our children any future but this one? I think not, and neither do you, which is why I pledge to put a stop for it once and for all.
Common Core is one of the most backwards, upside down and wrong-headed ideas to ever come out of the minds of government–and that’s saying something. It must be stopped, and together we can stop it.