Rob Astorino will appear on the New York State gubernatorial ballot this November as the official candidate of the “Stop Common Core Party.” Already the Republican nominee, Astorino has added the third ballot line to the ballot by gathering enough signatures to appear on the ballot with the endorsement of a second party.
“Our children aren’t guinea pigs, Governor Cuomo, and we want them educated by teachers – not faceless bureaucrats in Washington,” Astorino recently said in a video designed to attack incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo’s pro-Common Core endorsement.
The effort will give voters a voice in undoing the Common Core standards in New York schools, a recent controversy in the state. According to Tom Precious for The Buffalo News, Astorino believes Common Core to be a failure for teachers and students alike in the state.
“Cuomo’s Common Core has been a disaster. The role out and implementation speak for themselves in how bad it has been. But once the implementation is ironed out, some year in the future, we are still left with Common Core. It’s something New York should get out of just as other states are beginning to do right now,” said Astorino.
Cuomo claims the Common Core is needed in order to better evaluate how students perform in New York, an state in which schools have been lagging.
However, Cuomo does agree that how the Common Core standards have not been implemented well thus far. This year test results were not used in teacher evaluations or in determining student performance, writes Joseph Spector for Lohud.
“I’m sort of where the parent is, standing outside with the sign,” Cuomo told reporters Feb. 20 in Rochester. “And by the way, I would hold the same basic sign that the parent is holding. I think the way they have implemented Common Core as failed utterly. There is massive confusion, massive anxiety and massive chaos all through.”
Astorino claims these steps are not enough, and will unveil his own curriculum plans this fall. According to Karen DeWitt for North Country Public Radio, Astorino wants to revamp the Regents diplomas. A New York State Regents diploma used to be the “gold standard” for the nation, and Common Core has damaged the reputation, states Astorino.
According to Astorino, the Board of Regents had a previous plan for creating demanding educational standards that were pushed aside when the federal government offered millions in funding in return for siding with Common Core standards.
He claims to have first-hand accounts of the standards in place through his children, who are elementary school-aged. Their school district spent six weeks of school time preparing for Common Core-based tests, leaving less time for other classes, thus hurting the student’s performances.
“It is not a one size fits all for children and that is really what Common Core is,” said Astorino.
A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo’s campaign for re election, Peter Kauffman , referred to Astorino’s efforts as “pathetic pandering that will do nothing more than make New York students less competitive than their peers nationally.”
Based on current poll numbers, Astorino’s move looks like one of a man desperate to close a huge gap. The most recent accumulation of poll data via website Real Clear Politics shows Cumo with a 33-point lead over Astorino.