Last week, GOP candidate for Governor Rob Astorino released an education reform plan that would replace the federally-driven Common Core standards with new state-developed standards, replace the state’s education policymakers with a board of elected representatives, enact a tax credit for school donations and create a three-diploma system for high school students

The Astorino campaign has taken a position against the Common Core, even taking the step of creating the new ‘Stop Common Core’ ballot line.  Some of the new aspects of his education proposal are:

  • making the state Board of Regents an elected entity rather than an appointed one, with 13 members elected by the people in separate regions of the state;
  • allowing the governor to appoint the state education commissioner, subject to confirmation by the Board of Regents;
  • creating three new diplomas: Career and Technical Education, STEM Regents and Academic Regents; and
  • starting foreign-language instruction in elementary school.

Astorino said:

“I am a product of New York public schools, and I have seen them serve as a ladder to success for a generation of New Yorkers.  Sadly, though, politics and bureaucracy have stifled the ingenuity of teachers in the classroom, and a one-size-fits-all mentality, in the form of the experimental Common Core curriculum, has come down on high from the bureaucrats in Washington, all but negating what’s unique in each student. This bold plan will replace Common Core with high standards achieved at the local level, with the input of parents and teachers, and it will make the governor’s office directly responsible for school improvements through an executive-appointed State Education Commissioner.”