Statement by SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on the Common Core Task Force Report

December 10, 2015

"It has been a privilege to serve as a member of Governor Cuomo’s Common Core Task Force and to have had the opportunity to hear directly from so many passionate parents, teachers, and school administrators about these national education standards and how they can best be adopted to benefit New York State students.

"College and career readiness begins at the earliest stages of education, and if New York State is going to meet an increasingly overwhelming demand for college graduates and a skilled workforce, we know that we have to do much, much better for our students, our teachers, and our communities. The Task Force recommendations are an excellent start.

"For example, New York must commit to embracing a more thorough approach to teacher preparation and to the ongoing professional development of teachers, teacher educators, and school administrators. Every student must have access to a great teacher, someone who is clinically trained not only in college but continuously throughout their career.

"Also, use of a universally administered exam in high school to measure proficiency and target early intervention will be critical to increasing college readiness and eliminating the need for costly remediation. Our colleges should not only work toward using high school proficiency exams for admissions and course placement, but also play a role in developing the exams as well as the academic interventions that will ensure students are truly prepared for college when they graduate high school. 

"I commend Governor Cuomo for recognizing the need for this comprehensive review and thank my colleagues on the Task Force for their contributions to this truly collective and impactful report."

Peter Kneupfer, President of University Faculty Senate and a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees, said, "The development of high standards for our young people in the k-12 system is essential for their success in life, and I commend the Task Force for continuing to recognize this. I welcome the opportunity for college and university faculty in our education schools and other content-area departments to engage with their counterparts in k-12 education to design meaningful standards tailored to the students of New York State. And it is my fervent hope that what will emerge is a stronger education system that improves the readiness of our students for their next steps in life, whether in higher education or directly in the job market."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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