Cuomo: I don’t control state education commissioner

LAKE PLACID – Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledged the concerns raised by parents, teachers and administrators over the implementation of new Common Core education standards, but he said Wednesday that the issue is largely out of his control.

Following an event in Lake Placid, Cuomo told reporters that he knows the new curriculum has been very controversial, both here in New York and across the country.

But “the governor is not in charge of the state Education Department,” Cuomo said. “I am aware of what they’re doing. I’m aware of the controversy, and we’re going to keep an eye on it and see how it develops.

“The way I could get involved would be on a legislative proposal, if the circumstances called for it, but otherwise I’m not in charge of this particular matter.”

Teachers’ unions and some school administrators are pushing the state to postpone further implementation of the Common Core standards. Pressed further on the issue, Cuomo said he wasn’t sure what has hampered the rollout of the new standards.

“I don’t know if it’s the speed, if it’s how it was rolled out or if it’s the substance of the curriculum,” he said. “They’re not just higher standards. It’s a different curriculum. Teachers have to learn different subjects and concepts. Students have to learn different concepts. It is a dramatic shift.

“Is it that it was just done too quickly or proposed too quickly, or is it the shift itself? I don’t know. That’s why the commissioner is rolling it out. Let’s look at the feedback, and if there’s a need to step in legislatively, we will.”

The state could pass a law that “stops it, starts it, accelerates it, but that’s my only role,” Cuomo added.

Asked if state Education Commisioner John King still has his support, Cuomo’s response was, “I don’t appoint the education commissioner.” The Board of Regents does.