February 4, 2014

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Education Chair Cathy Nolan Call for Delay in Common Core Test Based Assessments and Sharing of Student Privacy Data

Many of our colleagues as well as advocates and stakeholders have raised numerous concerns regarding the State Education Department's rollout of the Common Core. New Yorkers share the same goal - to improve our schools and help prepare our students to be successful and college and career ready upon graduation. However, given the serious issues that have been raised over the past year, we feel it is both prudent and wise to take the following actions.

The use of Common Core aligned tests for high-stakes decisions for teachers, principals and students should be delayed, at a minimum, for two years.

At the same time, SED should continue to develop Common Core aligned curricula and assist local school districts in developing their own curricula so that teachers will be able to successfully teach Common Core aligned subjects while at the same time helping students reach their maximum potential.

As we have stated in the past, there are equally serious concerns and potential flaws regarding plans to share student data with a private third party vendor. There are persistent questions regarding the ability to protect such data from security breaches, the necessity of the details and categories of such student data that is being shared, as well as the highly inappropriate potential for commercialization. SED should delay the use of inBloom or any third party vendor in developing a "data portal" until all these questions have been answered and the concerns fully satisfied.