Common Core Task Force Holds First Executive Meeting

October 16, 2015

From the Office of Governor Cuomo

Task Force Announces Plan to Host Public Engagement Sessions and Establish Advisory Committee to Guide Review of State’s Learning Standards

First Student Ambassador Selected to Lead Effort on Student Engagement

Today, the first official executive meeting of the Common Core Task Force was held in Manhattan at the CUNY Graduate Center. The meeting included planning for at least a dozen public sessions in the near future to engage New Yorkers and generate feedback, as well as the creation of an advisory committee to help guide the Task Force throughout its review. The Task Force also announced that Andreea Musteata, a junior at Tech Valley High School, will serve as the group’s first student ambassador and will lead an effort to encourage student involvement throughout the process.

The Common Core Task Force is chaired by Richard Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners Inc. and former Chairman of the Board, Citigroup Inc.

Mr. Parsons said: “Today’s meeting was about setting the stage for a comprehensive review of common core – a review that will help us fix and strengthen the state’s learning standards and ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their full potential. This was a productive meeting that will guide our efforts in the weeks and months to come, and I look forward to beginning the work ahead.”

Today’s preliminary discussion focused on the history and timeline of Common Core standards development and implementation in New York State, as well as the development of related assessments, and problems that have arisen as a result of that implementation. The Task Force also determined a preliminary schedule for future public sessions – exact dates will be announced in the coming days, but at least a dozen public sessions are being planned, including at least one local session in each of the State’s 10 regions.

Student Ambassador

Andreea Musteata, a junior at Tech Valley High School in Albany, will serve as the Task Force’s student ambassador. In this role, Ms. Musteata will lead efforts to engage students across New York State through social media. In addition to her digital outreach, roundtables with students will be held to discuss ideas. Ms. Musteata will later present that feedback to the Task Force.

Advisory Committee

The Task Force members also discussed the formation of an advisory committee that will include a variety of subject matter experts and stakeholders, including educators, administrators and parents, which will be regionally diverse, to help guide the State’s review. Additional details on the advisory committee will be announced next week.

The Task Force was created by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in late September and charged with performing a comprehensive review of the State’s learning standards, instructional guidance and curricula, and tests in order to improve the system’s implementation and reduce text anxiety. More information, as well as a video of the Governor discussing the Task Force is available here.

The members of the Task Force include:

  • Richard D. Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners, LLC and Former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc.
  • Heather Buskirk, Mohawk Valley Master Teacher; Science Teacher at Johnstown High School
  • Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children’s Zone
  • Carol L. Conklin-Spillane, Principal, Sleepy Hollow High
  • MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner of the New York State Education Department
  • Constance Evelyn, Superintendent, Valley Stream School District
  • Catalina R. Fortino, Vice President, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)
  • Kishayna Hazlewood, 3rd Grade Teacher at P.S. 156 in Brooklyn
  • Tim Kremer, Executive Director of the New York State School Boards Association
  • Senator Carl Marcellino, Chair of the Senate Education Committee
  • Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee
  • Samuel Radford III, President, District Parent Coordinating Council of Buffalo
  • Carrie Remis, Rochester Area Parent & Founder of the Parent Power Project
  • Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), AFL-CIO
  • Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor, State University of New York (SUNY)

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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Holly Liapis
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