Assemblymen Ra, Graf Present Plan To Halt Common Core, High-Stakes Testing

Video of Ra discussing legislation can be found at http://youtu.be/VDd3r7UI5mc
February 12, 2014

Assemblyman Ed Ra (at podium) presenting his legislation to halt Common Core.

Assemblymen Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) and Al Graf (R,C,I-Holbrook) today hosted a press conference to present a new measure that would fully halt the implementation and high-stakes testing of Common Core until a full study is performed by an independent commission. Under the plan approved by the Board of Regents this week, Common Core standards and examinations would still be ongoing while the complete implementation of the program is delayed until 2022.

The Ra and Graf measure, part of the Conference-wide APPLE Plan to fix Common Core, would completely halt the implementation of Common Core until an independent commission performs a thorough review. This measure comes based on the recommendations of the educators, administrators and parents the Assembly Minority Conference met with during their 11 statewide public forums on Common Core. Of note during their press conference was the need to study the effect these changes in education are having on special-needs students and how poverty can affect the ability to implement the new standards and tests.

“Rather than simply delay Common Core, we need to put a stop to the high-stakes testing and standards that are causing so much student and educator anxiety until a thorough review is performed,” said Ra. “An independent commission specifically needs to examine Common Core’s effect on special-needs students’ IEP plans and on English as a Second Language students; how poverty affects the ability of both schools to implement the standards and children to adapt to the changes; and to see if there is a better option for our educators and students.”

“This bill is a culmination of six months of hearings throughout the state. We listened to parents, grandparents, educators, mental health professionals, and many others,” said Graf. “This bill should be the road map on how to achieve higher standards while at the same time considering the diversity of our students. This bill, in the words of Dr. Joe Rella, ‘Stops it, fixes it, and if it cannot be fixed, we scrap it.’ I take great pride in being a co-author of this legislation with Sen. Zeldin and Assemblyman Ra.”

To find out more about the Assembly Minority Conference’s statewide hearings, visit bit.ly/educationalcrossroads. For more information on their APPLE Plan, please visit bit.ly/APPLEplan.