Common Core in New York

Thursday, January 8, 2015Printer-friendly version

This edition of Voices Supporting Higher Standards features stories that highlight good work and success on Common Core coming out of New York State. 

Ensure the standards for students

By Sal Fernandez, Albany Times Union

January 6, 2015

“Most critically, the new commissioner must keep the higher standards in our schools moving forward so that every New York child has an equal shot at college and career readiness. That's absolutely critical to employers, who know that in the next five years 70 percent of all new jobs here will require a college degree.

“There's been real progress in the classroom as teachers, students, parents and communities have incorporated higher standards into curricula and have grown increasingly comfortable with the challenging and stimulating learning that they provide.”


“Ensuring our education system promotes high-quality academic standards and excellent instruction requires input — positive and negative — from all of us. But too often, criticism launched by a small but vocal group, rather than the support of the vast majority, grabs the headlines. Here's the truth: The majority of students, parents, teachers, and business and community leaders understand that the old education policies were systematically failing students. After an uneven rollout, the new, higher standards are working: teachers are adjusting, students are responding, and scores are changing.”


“The objective of the next commissioner and the Regents is clear: ensure the continued implementation of the Common Core standards — so every one of New York's kids has an equal shot at success.”


New York school beats the odds by “going rogue” on Common Core

By Meredith Kolodner, The Hechinger Report

January 6, 2015

“The district’s early jump, along with direct access to Common Core materials, was crucial to students’ progress, school staff members say.

“And progress was evident. In the spring of 2014, 65 percent of Lockwood students were deemed proficient in the state math exams, up from 40 percent the year before, and considerably higher than the statewide average of 36%. Also that spring, 51 percent passed English with proficiency, a jump from 25 percent the previous year, and 20 percentage points above the 31% statewide average.”


“New York State, unlike any other in the country, hired companies to write a curriculum that incorporated the beefed-up Common Core standards. The curriculum — or “modules” — rolled out unevenly; two different companies, for example, were hired to write the English curriculum. But Lockwood tried out pieces of it in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. (The state doesn’t require curriculum to be taught, just requires kids to take tests that are Common Core aligned, and holds schools responsible for performance.) When the full curriculum was finally available in the fall of 2013, Lockwood teachers were well acquainted with the standards and even some of the lessons, and the school had paid for five days in the summer for the teachers to plan.

“That’s where the other big change came in: The teachers planned together.

“’There’s no competition, it’s a total sharing environment,’ said Krist. ‘This is my 23rd, 24th year in education. I’ve never felt the sense of sharing and community as I’ve felt with this team.’”


“Although educators warn that test scores can never tell the whole story about a school, it is notable that economically disadvantaged students at Lockwood made even more progress on the 2014 exams than students who were not. Last spring 40 percent of Lockwood students who were eligible for free or reduced lunch passed the state English exam, up from 6 percent the year before. In math, 54 percent passed, an increase from 27 percent the year before.

“Lockwood staff says the children’s progress came down to what happened in the classroom and the extraordinary preparation and teamwork by the teachers before they even opened their doors.”


Achieve has developed materials to help states, districts, and others understand the organization and content of the standards and the content and evidence base used to support the standards. Visit

If you find a news clip supportive of the Common Core, please send it to Chad Colby at

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