The Albany Times Union bid the Common Core State Standards good bye as the New York State Board of Regents officially adopted the Next Generation Learning Standards on Monday, but are they really gone? The standards had been up for public review and comment throughout May.
New York State Education Department started the review process in 2015 and began to revise the standards. The department claims the standards were revised through a collaborative effort with teachers, parents, and other stake holders. How much that was really done I don’t know. I know I trust educrats about as far as I can throw them.
“The standards we adopted today continue to be rigorous, to challenge New York’s students to do more and to prepare them for life in the 21st century,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said in a released statement. “Throughout the entire process, we worked collaboratively and transparently, receiving valuable input from educators and parents, as well as experts in teaching English language learners, students with disabilities and our youngest learners. And we will continue to listen as the standards are implemented. We are committed to getting this right for our kids and evolving the standards over time as necessary to do that.”
“We have developed an implementation plan that gives teachers and students the time they’ll need to adjust to the revised learning standards,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia stated. “Our implementation timetable allows for professional development and curriculum development to occur before any student takes a State assessment based on the new standards. That’s the fair and smart thing to do for our teachers and our students.”
We noted some of the changes New York said they made to the standards here. How different are they really?
J.R. Wilson, a math teacher and advocate here at Truth in American Education, said New York’s math standards did not change much. He did a side-by-side review of the 2nd-grade math standards, as well as, a spot check of specific math standards in grades 4, 5, and 6.
“A side by side of the NY standards and CCSS-M for second grade shows they are basically identical to the CCSS0-M. Grade 2 shows some minor word changes, apparently for clarification, but no substantial changes. NY’s 4.NBT.B.4 reads, Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using a standard algorithm. This is not the same as the CCSS 4.NBT.4 standard, which says, “using the standard algorithm.” The same thing is done with standard 5.NBT.B.5 for multiplication and standard 6.NS.B.2 for division. This seemingly minor word change has major implications and may have significantly different interpretations by different practitioners and may result in considerably different classroom instruction,” he said.
“The NY Standards for Mathematical Practice and corresponding narratives are identical to the CCSS-M,” he added.
Essentially, as far as math is concerned, they just changed the name and didn’t address the problems with the Common Core Math Standards.
Taking a quick look at New York’s new ELA standards the Reading Anchor Standards 1-7 were taken verbatim from Common Core. Anchor Standard 8 was shortened, and Anchor Standard 9 was rewritten. They eliminated CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.10 which reads, “Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.”
There is more change with the writing anchor standards. The first three writing standards are practically identical to Common Core. Anchor Standard 4 and 5 were completely rewritten. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6 was eliminated, it reads, “Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.”
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7 was simplified. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.9 was moved to become Standard 5 under “Type Texts and Purposes” in the New York Standards instead of falling under research. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.10 was eliminated.
New York adds prior to their list of standards a “guidance and support” section, they discuss the range of student reading experiences that includes examples of the types of literature and informational text each grade will read. They discuss the text complicity expectations for each grade, as well as, sections addressing English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners and Students with Disabilities.
Looking at the Kindergarten Literature Standards they have mainly been tweaked from Common Core. Here is one example:
New York KR1: Develop and answer questions about a text. (RI&RL)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.1: With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Here is a complete rewrite:
New York KR4: Identify specific words that express feelings and senses. (RI&RL)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.4: Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
Ultimately, the revision of New York’s ELA standards does not eliminate the chief problem inherent in Common Core and that is the emphasis on informational text.
In a nutshell, this effort amounts to nothing more than a rebranding of Common Core.