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State lawmakers say delay of Common Core effects likely in state budget


State lawmakers say it’s likely the state budget will include a moratorium on the effects of school exams administered in connection with the controversial Common Core learning standards.

The state Assembly already passed a bill to delay the effects of the new Common Core tests on students and teachers, after widespread complaints that schools and the state education department were not adequately prepared to make the needed curriculum changes.

Legislators are currently talking with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has already said the Common Core implementation is flawed,  about a law delaying the tests’ effects on students for at least two more years.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says legislators want to ensure that the next round of tests, scheduled for April, will be “less traumatic” for the students.  

“There will be some changes,” Silver said.

However one thing may remain the same; Silver says the proposed legislation may continue to allow the tests to count for teacher evaluations.

Education Commissioner John King sent a letter this week to school superintendents, urging them to do a better job of selling the exams to the public and to “correct misinformation” that he says has led to “anxiety and frustration” among students and teachers.

Last year, less than one-third of students in the third through eighth grades in New York passed the new tests.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.