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State announces plans to revise learning standards, assessments

photo of bubble test sheetAfter years of controversy surrounding the roll out of the Common Core Learning Standards, state education officials have said that changes are on the horizon.
Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia recently announced a proposed process and timeline to revise the state’s learning standards for schools and the state exams that go with them.

The standards provide a consistent set of expectations for what all students in New York should learn and be able to do, so educators can ensure every student is on track for college and career readiness.

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) will form two Standards Review Committees, one each for math and English language arts (ELA), by recruiting educators, parents, community-based organizations, business leaders and members of higher education. The committees will be charged with drafting revised standards, which then will be posted online for public comment and presented to the Board of Regents by November.
The changes come following administration of an online survey (AIMHighNY) by NYSED between mid-October and late November 2015, which was completed by more than 15,000 respondents. Of those who responded, 71 percent were supportive of the standards while 29 percent were critical and focused mostly on the early grades for both ELA and math. Feedback included recommendations and comments about the standards, including specific changes to wording and revisions and/or movement of standards to another grade level.

Respondents included teachers (48.9 percent), parents (32.8 percent), administrators (5.1 percent) and others (13.2 percent).
After the survey closed, advisory panels composed of teachers, administrators and college professors analyzed the data, identified trends and made initial recommendations for possible revisions and guidance.  
Among the panels’ recommendations:
  • Be more specific about the intent of the standards.
  • Provide more professional development around the standards, their intent and how to teach them.
  • Provide more resources for parents.
  • Clarify terms and language in the standards.
  • Review standards with special attention to content, appropriateness and how standards work across grade levels.
  • Evaluate text complexity requirements at each grade level. 

NYSED proposed process and timeline for development and implementation of revised ELA/math standards

  • March – July 2016: Standards Review Committees develops guidance and recommended revisions to the standards based on feedback from AIMHighNY survey and Content Advisory Panels.
  • July – Oct. 2016: Public comment period on revisions.
  • Oct. – Nov. 2016: Revised draft standards presented to Board of Regents.
  • January 2017: Local districts will begin revising their curriculum materials to reflect the revised standards. NYSED says it will provide guidance to districts and begin revising materials available on EngageNY.
  • Summer 2017: Schools will prepare to implement the revised standards; statewide/regional trainings for educators may be offered.
  • 2017-18 school year: NYSED to provide information on grades 3-8 ELA and math assessments aligned to revised standards.
  • 2018-19 school year: First year of NYS assessments based on revised ELA/math standards. 
*Proposed timeline is contingent on funding to support the revision and implementation.

Did you know the history of standardized testing dates all the way back to the 19th century in New York state? Check out this timeline graphic, produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communication Service. 

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