- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - As New York students begin taking English language arts assessments on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said parents and students should be relieved knowing that the second round of Common Core-aligned test scores will not be included on students’ permanent transcripts under the new budget deal.

“Parents can now exhale, students can now exhale, the test scores don’t count,” Cuomo said during a ceremonial signing of the budget.

Students begin the three-day testing Tuesday and continue through Thursday.

Under the budget passed Monday night, scores on Common Core-aligned tests for students from third to eighth grade would remain off their transcripts through 2018 and school districts would be prevented from using the scores as the sole way for determining student placement.

The new standards in English and math designed to improve college and career readiness have been criticized by some parents, who say that the roll-out was done too fast and educators claiming that they weren’t given sufficient material or guidance to teach the new standards.

The budget bill also places limits on sharing student data from the tests. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he was pleased that the agreement “protects student privacy.”

The state received nearly $700 million in federal Race to the Top grants for implementing the curriculum rollout in 2010. In all, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core. Late last month, Indiana became the first state to withdraw from the program.

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