Coalition launches to support New York’s Common Core rollout

New York’s rollout of the Common Core standards is getting a boost from a new coalition of advocates and business leaders, just in time for criticism of this year’s Common Core-aligned tests.

The coalition, Higher Achievement New York, announced itself today with a pledge to mobilize New Yorkers to support the standards and seek positive media coverage of the standards’ impact on schools.

In a press release, the group said its goal is to combat “special interests’ attempt to delay the introduction of a new set of standards created and adopted by New York State teachers, parents, principals and state leaders in 2011.” The press release does not have its facts perfectly straight — the standards are already in place in the state, and they were not crafted locally — but it is correct that some in the state would like to see the standards’ rollout slowed. State education officials have already delayed the deadline by which students must reach the standards, and teachers unions and legislators have called for a delay in connecting Common Core test scores to teacher evaluations.

“Business leaders – large and small – understand the importance of a skilled workforce,” said Heather Bricetti, president and CEO of the Business Council for New York State, said in a statement. “That’s why we support the Common Core as an effective means to address these issues and set real-world standards for our schools.”

The member groups are America Achieves, American Association of University Women, Buffalo Education Reform, Buffalo Urban League, Business Council of New York State, Business Council of Westchester, Center for Hispanic Families and Children, Council For a Strong America, Educators4Excellence, National Council of La Raza, Parent Power Project, Queens Chamber of Commerce, and StudentsFirstNY.