North Country Assembly Republicans want more changes to Common Core standards
Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 2:45 pm

North Country Republican Assembly members Ken Blankenbush and Mark Butler voted to halt the implementation of Common Core standards, but say more reforms are needed.

“Last night, the Assembly and I passed measures that reform the testing components of Common Core. This legislation addresses the use of test results in teacher and principal evaluation and student placement, encourages further teacher and professional training, and prohibits the use of student data by third parties,” Blankenbush, who represents DeKalb, Gouverneur, Hermon, Russell, Edwards, Fowler and Pitcairn, said in a prepared statement.

“We are nowhere near finished, but this is a positive step toward reforming the Common Core Standards. I encourage my legislative colleagues to continue to discuss the implications of Common Core, and I will advocate for passage of the Achieving Pupil Preparedness and Launching Excellence (APPLE) Plan. My Republican colleagues and I developed this plan after holding over 10 hearings throughout the state, one of which I hosted in Lewis County."

In his statement, Blankenbush said New York’s educational system needs a real overhaul that addresses not only Common Core, but will ensure proper school aid funding, implement a program that educates all of New York’s students, and demand accountability from the state’s commissioner of education.

Assemblymen Mark Butler who represents Madrid, Norfolk, Stockholm, Parishville, Pierrepont, Clare, Colton, Clifton, and Fine in St. Lawrence County, released a similar statement.

“Last night, in the Assembly, we took a step forward in reforming the problems with Common Core. While I was supportive of the bill, my conference and I offered up an amendment to strengthen the bill to incorporate more elements of our Achieving Pupil Preparedness and Launching Excellence (APPLE) Plan. The majority voted down our efforts to fully reform Common Core.

“My Republican colleagues crafted the APPLE Plan, an education reform package, after listening to testimony from teachers, administrators and parents at 11 public hearings, two of which I co-hosted in our region. It not only makes the necessary reforms to Common Core, but also restores funding to our overburdened schools, ensures that a student’s educational needs come first, and creates a system of accountability in our State Education Department.

“I encourage the state to adopt our plan. Our students cannot wait any longer for Albany to act."