Last night on CapTon, NYSUT’s Dick Iannuzzi tried to equate the battle over Obamacare with the fight here in New York over the Common Core, saying the three-year moratorium on using test results to evaluate teachers is not a complete rejection of the controversial curriculum, but rather a “pause to recalibrate” and be sure its implementation is sound.

“High standards do work in the long-term but high standards are delayed by an improper implementation,” Iannuzzi told me. “Look, President Obama today is saying the same thing about Obamacare…The implementation has been so poor that it’s really challenging some of the people who have been supportive of it.”

“I would say the same thing to the commissioner. This isn’t about using the frustration as a reason to abandon Common Core. It’s about using a moratorium, a pause to recalibrate, to look at what we’ve done and decide if it’s the right way – as a way to actually be sure that the Common Core and a sound evaluation plan go forward.”

I was confused by this argument, noting that the House Republicans tried – and failed – to get the president to put a year-long moratorium on the implementation of the individual mandate portion of Obamacare, so if Obama held firm in that instance, why should the commissioner not do the same – rickety rollout be damned?

“The difference is the president is speaking about health care,” Iannuzzi replied. “He’s speaking about people who have been denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Speaking about people who will literally suffer and die during of the process.”

“What we’re saying is not as dramatic. But we’re talking about young people who are suffering and stressed and feeling harmed if we go forward. So, in the president’s case, if we stop, people will feel harmed. In the case of the moratorium on high-stakes testing, if we continue at this rate, young people are feeling harmed.”

Make of that what you will.

Also: State Education Commissioner John King will be joining me on CapTon this evening (8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.) to counter Iannuzzi’s argument and also review the performance evaluation data released by SED today.

Watch Excerpt Here
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