Ra: Assembly Majority Block Common Core Reform Bill

Common Core reform legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) was taken up today in the Assembly Education Committee Meeting. Earlier this year Ra, the ranking minority member of the Education Committee, introduced Assembly Bill 8844 to enact a moratorium on the Common Core Learning Standards and associated state tests until the 2016-17 school year. During this time, a panel of experts would determine whether Common Core is the proper course forward for our state’s education system. Unfortunately, the bill was defeated in committee and will not be given the chance for a vote on the Assembly floor during this year’s Legislative session.

The Blue Ribbon Commission (A.8844) is a two-house bill with bipartisan support in both houses. As the only true moratorium bill introduced, its importance has risen due to recent reports disclosing that Gov. Cuomo’s Common Core commission will not be issuing a final report based on their work.

“By denying an opportunity for this legislation to be given a chance for an up-or-down vote, the Education Committee has overlooked important reform that is necessary to restore local control to our schools,” said Ra. “We are doing a great disservice to our children, their families and our teachers by leaving them without answers at the end of this school year and legislative session. What does that say about our priorities? It is completely unacceptable that we have continued to deny solutions to the problems that our children and educators have brought to our attention.”

Assemblyman Ra’s comprehensive legislation is a result of 11 forums that were held around the state in the fall and winter with valuable input from parents, students, teachers and administrators – those dealing with this curriculum everyday. Unfortunately, the only education reform bill brought to the floor for a vote, which was proposed and passed by the Assembly Majority, was derived from little outside input and fell short of the real reform that our education system needs.

“While today’s committee vote was disheartening, I can assure New York residents that the fight for true Common Core reform is not over,” Ra said. “My colleagues and I, on both sides of the aisle, will continue to work toward a comprehensive reform that would ensure our educators and students are given the ability to compete at world-class standards.”