Common Core was meant to unify schools — creating a set of learning standards that students across the country could aspire to reach at each grade level.
But that consensus has eroded, and Common Core has sparked heated arguments nationwide, fueled a testing boycott movement in New York state, and been deemed a “disaster” by President-elect Donald Trump.
So, like many other states, in addition to revising the standards, New York is considering easing fears of Common Core with a symbolic gesture: changing its name.
That leaves the fun task of picking a new one. High Achievement New York, a group that supports rigorous learning standards, has decided to jump-start that process. It picked 10 names and surveyed 293 members of its coalition from parent, educator, civic and business groups to figure out which they liked best
Topping the list are the “Empire State Learning Standards,” followed by the “NYS College and Career Ready Standards.” Rounding out the bottom of the list are “Standards NYS” and the “I [heart] NY Standards.”
Advocates have long argued the standards themselves are not entirely broken, but the name Common Core has been tarnished by poor implementation. In New York, the standards are often grouped with other unpopular education reforms, including high-stakes testing and teacher evaluations tied to standardized tests.
For those reasons, former Chancellor Merryl Tisch floated the idea of renaming the standards over a year ago.
“There is so much politicization about those words ‘Common Core,’” Tisch said on Capitol Pressroom, an Albany-based public radio program. “We can call them the Empire State Standards or New York’s Higher Standards.”
The state has already launched a campaign to revise the content of the standards, and has recommended a preliminary set of changes. State officials plan to have the new standards finalized in early 2017.