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Assembly votes to delay Common Core, fight set over Board of Regents

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Albany/HV: Assembly votes to delay Common Core, fight set over Board of Regents
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A two-year delay in implementing Common Core standards for teacher evaluations and student assessment was approved by the Democratic-led Assembly on Wednesday -- a measure that registers a direct rebuke at the state's roll out of the program.

"I think we've finally recognized that it is going to take legislation to finally put the breaks on what has been a debacle," said Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany.

But a broader fight over Common Core may occur on Tuesday, when four members of the Board of Regents are up for re-appointment. The Regents oversee the state Education Department, which has been blamed for the botched roll out. The expectation is the vote may be close in the Assembly.

"I think it will be a close vote, but I know there is an interest in moving forward, and that's why we act now to show that we are moving," Fahy said.

After the Assembly votes, the state Senate will. And it's the total of those two votes that will determine if the members will stay. So while most candidates meet the threshold just from the Assembly vote, a close vote in the Assembly means they need the support of most senators.

"Voting for the current Board of Regents would just be voting for the status quo and voting for the status quo is something I'm just not going to do," said state Sen. Terry Gipson, D-Rhinebeck.

Three Senate Democrats say they'll vote against the Regents' re-appointment: Senators Terry Gipson, Cecilia Tkaczyk and George Latimer. They all point to the Common Core roll out as the reason.

"What we've seen here is a hue and cry that has been extended over a wide swath of the state where everyday people -- stakeholders, parents, teachers, administrators -- have objected to the way this has been administered," said state Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye.

As to whether the Common Core delay bill backed by the Assembly is approved in the Senate, that remains to be seen. But lawmakers in the chamber have not ruled it out.

I think there's a lot of bills out there around Common Core and I think we need to look at all of them and do what makes sense for our kids," said state Sen. Cecilia Tkacyk, D-Duanesberg.

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