Ny Common Core Testing May Be Delayed

03.27.14 | Sarah Harnisch

Legislative leaders say they are negotiating a set of changes to the Common Core education standards with Governor Andrew Cuomo, as closed-door talks about the state budget enter their final stretch.

With a spending plan for the state due before the end of the month, Cuomo and top lawmakers huddled behind closed doors twice Wednesday as they sought a series of compromises on a budget expected to total nearly $138 billion.

But each year, several non-budgetary items generally get thrown into the negotiations.

With a new round of student testing slated for next week, Cuomo and lawmakers have been discussing ways to delay certain aspects of the Common Core, the set of tougher education standards that were first implemented in New York last year.

"We are discussing doing something before the first round of tests, which I think is April 3," Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said late Tuesday. "So probably within the budget."

Among the other issues being debated are a statewide expansion of prekindergarten; how to provide funding for charter schools; and whether the state should match small donations to political campaigns, as good-government groups are advocating.

Cuomo has pushed for a delay in using Common Core-based tests for grade-promotion decisions for elementary and middle school students, as have legislators. But Cuomo has been opposed to a delay in using the test results as part of new teacher and principal evaluations, as the state's teachers union has called for.

Lawmakers said there is no final decision on how long the moratorium would be, but it appears it would be two years or three years. The Legislature hopes to have the budget deal done by Friday and then vote on the budget to meet the March 31 deadline.