Flanagan: ‘Great Difficulty’ In Support Regents Re-Appointment
Senate Education Committee Chairman John Flanagan on Monday signaled growing frustration among Senate Republicans over the re-appointment of four members of the Board of Regents.
The vote to re-appoint four members up for re-election, to be held Tuesday, is expected to be close in the Assembly, potentially throwing the decision to the Senate.
At issue is New York not applying for a waiver from the federal government for Common Core standards.
The issue was compounded when California applied for, and received a waiver for Common Core testing.
“In the last three days it’s just added to the angst and frustration and I don’t see that changing,” he said. “That has made our colleagues even more aggravated.”
He added the California waiver should be a “clarion wake up call” for the Regents.
“In my estimation the state of New York should aggressively pursue a waiver right now,” he said.
Still, some lawmakers have quietly suggested the replacements for the Regents aren’t especially qualified to replace those seeking re-appointment.
One candidate, for example, is a spiritual life coach who runs a for-profit diet consultancy.
Members of the Assembly in particular emerged from the marathon interview sessions with prospective Regents members to say they were underwhelmed by the alternative choices.
Still, the vote to re-appoint is still expected to be close.
Asked if he would vote to re-appoint the four up for re-election, Flanagan indicated a “yes” vote will be hard for him to do.
“I think I would have great difficulty doing that right now,” he said.
The vote comes after the Democratic-led Assembly approved a bill that would delay certain provisions of Common Core standards.
The bill is yet to be taken up in the Senate, led by Republicans and a breakaway conference of Democrats.
The state Department of Education has come under fire for its handling of the implementation of Common Core, a set of federal education standards the state adopted.
The Board of Regents approved a set of changes in February to Common Core, but that did little to sway lawmakers.
“There have been positive steps in the regents action plan, but while these people have extensive backgrounds and a wealth of experience, I think there’s a very strong feeling that not enough has been done,” Flanagan said.
Republicans in the Senate are expected to end a long-standing boycott of not attending new Regents votes — a sign of just how much Common Core implementation has spurred state lawmakers over the last several months.
On Monday afternoon, Sen. James Seward, a central New York Republican, announced in a statement he would vote against re-appointment.
“The shoddy implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards along with the Board of Regents’ increased reliance on high-stakes tests have clearly damaged our educational system in New York State. Parents, teachers, and school administrators alike have voiced their well-warranted concerns with the tense situation these new polices have created in our classrooms,” Seward said. “With those concerns in mind, I will be voting to deny reappointment to the four Board of Regents members up for re-election. I simply cannot reward these individuals for their failures. I hope that the remaining board members, and any new candidates, pay attention to this vote and take immediate steps to reverse course on Common Core and focus on a more productive approach to enriching student achievement.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on March 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm, and is filed under Education. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|