August 14, 2013
By Bill Rudin, ABNY Chairman
New York NY – New York State released the scores from our first-ever math and reading tests that incorporate the new Common Core standards. The scores have dropped significantly due to changes in academic standards, and related curriculum revisions. Parents, teachers, administrators, and students must all be reminded that the transition to these new standards is imperative to the long term success of our children.
These results must be a call to action for every stakeholder to rally behind the Common Core standards. Lower scores this year do not reflect that our students or our teachers are less effective than they were last year. Rather, the bar has been raised higher. This is a natural part of transition that must not be exploited for political gain or, worse yet, for bolstering a case against these changes.
The Common Core standards have been voluntarily adopted by 45 states and four territories. They are in the earliest stages of adoption around the country and New York State is at the vanguard of implementation. Only Kentucky has outpaced us in rolling the standards out in their state education system, and they saw their first test scores released just one year ago.
In New York, we know that leading the pack is not always easy, but it’s in the DNA of our state and our city. New Yorkers today have the same drive that birthed the securities industry, the same commitment to innovation that grew the world’s largest companies and universities, and the same entrepreneurial spirit that has attracted start-ups and venture capital from around the world. We believe that for ourselves and our children, the very best is yet to come.
We must ensure that our teachers have access to all the materials and training they need to implement these new college and career-ready standards successfully.
We must ensure that our students are working hard to learn this new material and these new ways of thinking, so that they are prepared to compete in a 21st century economy.
We must ensure that parents are included in the educational process and are engaging and supporting their children throughout the transition and in the years to come.
The Association for a Better New York is committed to the Common Core standards because we believe they are the best way to prepare our children for an increasingly global, technological and competitive world. As the demands of the workforce change, and the opportunities for our children become more advanced, we have no choice but to adjust our educational priorities to better prepare them for success.
When the test results are released and the scores are distilled into a headline or a talking point, I implore you to remember the challenges that come with leading. I implore you to remain committed to our teachers, our students, our Common Core. Together, we will make New York a beacon of success for this cutting edge initiative, and our students will again lead the way into the 21st Century economy.
Bill Rudin is Chairman of the Association for a Better New York and Vice-Chairman and CEO of Rudin Management Company (http://abny.org/Content/News)