After four hours of lively debate, the State Assembly passed a bill that will delay and change some of the Common Core education standards, but it's unlikely to get Senate approval in its present form.
By a wide margin, 117 to 10, the Assembly passed a bill that prohibits schools, for the next two years, from basing teacher evaluations on Common Core test scores. It also prevents schools from deciding whether to promote a student solely on the basis of the test scores. The state's rollout of the Common Core, which is used in more than 40 states, has ignited a firestorm of criticism from students, parents and educators, who believe it was implemented way too fast.
Assembly Republicans pushed for an amendment to delay implementing Common Core for two years in order to study whether the program should be scrapped altogether. That amendment went down to defeat when Democrats warned that it might jeopardize the state's share of federal grant monies that have topped $700 million in the last eight years; grants that were based on an education plan composed of the Common Core standards and a revised teacher-evaluation process.
It's doubtful that Wednesday's legislative actions will have any lasting impact; inasmuch as the Senate will revisit the whole issue and form its own opinions on the controversial issue.