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State Legislature Approves Four Members to Board of Regents

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Although it promised to be a close and contentious vote, in the end, the state legislature easily approved four members to the Board of Regents. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

It's usually just a routine vote when members of the Board of Regents are up for re-election, but this time, state Senate Republicans raised eyebrows by joining Assembly Democrats in the Assembly chamber.

"Nobody disagrees that the rollout of Common Core has been nothing short of a nightmare," said Assemblyman Al Graf of Long Island.

Republicans, and even some Democrats, say that the rollout of the national Common Core curriculum standards was handled clumsily, since many students were not adequately prepared for last year's tests.

Before the vote took place, though, Speaker Sheldon Silver seemed confident that he had the votes to elect the four members.

"Yeah, I'm fairly confident that the conference has put up four good candidates, and we should be electing the four people that are being put forth by the committee," Silver said.

It turns out he was correct. Three regents were re-elected with one new member elected. All were put up by the Democrats.

"The Democrats today continue to vote for status quo and are not listening to parents. They're not listening to educators," said Dean Skelos, the Republican Conference leader in the state Senate.

Some Republicans opted not to vote.

"What that was was a protest vote," Graf said. "They voted no or no vote, or I won't vote for either of them, because they know that the process is flawed."

"We should not be using the regents as the whipping post for a decision that was made by the federal government and the state government," said state Senator Diane Savino of Staten Island.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says that the Board of Regents should get a closer look in light of the Common Core confusion.

"Look, there should be scrutiny on this Board of Regents and who they are and how they're selected because they run education in this state," he said.

Last week, Assembly Democrats voted to delay certain aspects of Common Core for two years.

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