One year after Hurricane Sandy's devastation, the amazing work of so many great teachers and principals has helped tens of thousands of students regain a sense of normalcy and safety. Thanks to all of you who have given so much to our students.
Over the last three years, educators have been hard at work learning about the Common Core State Standards and working to bring them into the classroom. While there have been countless successes and I have been very encouraged by the work happening in the dozens of classrooms in schools across the state I have visited this school year, we know that this work is challenging.
Last week while visiting the P-Tech School in Brooklyn, President Obama recognized New York's hard work by stating, "I also want to congratulate Governor Cuomo and all of you in New York for having the courage to raise your standards for teaching and learning to make sure that more students graduate from high school ready for college and a career. It's not easy. But it's the right thing to do; it's going to prepare more young people for today's economy; and we should keep at it."
The New York State Board of Regents adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010 to benefit every New York student. We believe in the promise of the Common Core. But as with all large scale change initiatives, there must be continuing dialogue and adjustments at the state and local level as this important work moves forward. For example, in the "Teaching is the Core" letter
sent to superintendents and principals last week, I describe a comprehensive initiative launched by the Board of Regents to better ensure that the amount of testing in New York State is the minimum necessary to inform effective decision making. Teaching must be the core of our work and we cannot allow rote test preparation to crowd out engaging instruction that builds students' critical thinking and problem solving skills and cultivates their knowledge of the world.
We all know that all children deserve the best educational opportunities and I know that we will work together to provide those opportunities and to ensure our students graduate prepared for success in higher education and the 21st century economy.
We look forward to listening, learning, and succeeding together.
John B. King, Jr.