Common Core, High-Quality Assessments Are Helping New York Students Succeed

In an opinion piece published by the Journal News, Nicholas Tampio, an associate professor at Fordham University, alleges that the New York Board of Regents’ plan to improve on the state’s education standards fails parents and teachers by not fully replacing the Common Core. “The Regents plan suggests that they have no interest in challenging the federal government’s prerogative to determine academic standards…Until New York policy-makers recognize that the Common Core, by whatever name, is a failed experiment, we have no choice but to refuse the tests,” Tampio argues.

In reality, Common Core State Standards are helping more New York students achieve to high levels and to graduate high school prepared for college and careers. In 2014, upon the release of results from assessments aligned to the Common Core, the New York Daily News wrote, “The chorus of ‘can’t…was wrong. If responsible adults show fortitude, and if they have the sense to learn from schools that are making the biggest gains, children can and will achieve in ever-greater numbers.”

About the same time, Karen Nussle noted that the success states like New York are having demonstrates “how effective setting higher expectations in our classrooms is, especially when states are willing to put their full support behind it…Today, governors and policymakers face a decision: They can hold the course and continue to support higher expectations in our classrooms for all students that set them up for success, or they can go the way of Oklahoma and go backwards.”

Mike Petrilli, president of the Fordham Institute, points out the biggest challenge policymakers face is that it is “impossible” to create education standards that prepare students for college and career and that look nothing like the Common Core. “That’s because Common Core, though not perfect, represents a good-faith effort to incorporate the current evidence of what students need to know and do to succeed in credit-bearing courses in college or to land a good-paying job — and the milestones younger students need to pass to reach those goals.”