Most of the initial responses to New York’s Common Core survey have been positive, the state education commissioner said Monday.
The comprehensive survey, launched last month and continuing until Nov. 30, allows users to give feedback on every math and English standard from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade. So far, more than 71 percent of responses have been positive, Elia told the Board of Regents — results she presented as an indication that there is more consensus around the standards than many realize.
“We’ve had so many people across the state that I’ve heard that have said, ‘Oh, I hate the standards,’ Elia said. “When they’ve gone onto the survey, however, we haven’t had an overwhelming number say they don’t like the standards.”
The survey is part of a legally mandated review of the Common Core standards, prompted by a growing anti-testing sentiment across the state and nationwide. New York is among 18 states taking a closer look at the standards, according to the Council of Chief State School Officers.
The early results of New York’s survey show that those who objected to standards most frequently criticized elementary reading standards, which some experts have called into question before. The standards for early grades drew more feedback than standards for the later grades.
Of the 5,500 respondents, more than 60 percent were teachers and 22 percent were parents. That means about 1.5 percent of New York teachers have responded to the survey so far.
Those results are in line with Common Core reviews from other states: In Kentucky, for example, more than 70 percent of negative responses were for standards in kindergarten through third grade. In Tennessee, most responses to individual standards were positive and from teachers.
Elia will present the survey findings next month to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has convened a separate commission to evaluate the standards and promised to recommend changes before the legislative session begins in January.
Elia used Monday’s presentation to reiterate her own position on the standards, which were designed to more closely align classroom teaching with the skills students need to eventually succeed in college or in the workforce. The standards also have been criticized for contributing to an overemphasis on standardized testing in New York.
Elia emphasized the negative consequences of too much test prep and recommended that specific problems with state tests be addressed, but stopped well short of promoting a complete overhaul of the standards.
“We have to, each year, review the data on this,” Elia said. “But the expectation is there, and I think that it’s reasonable … for us to get teachers understanding that this is where we have to move our students to.”