Johnstown Teacher Part of Governor’s Task Force

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched the Common Core Task Force – a diverse and highly-qualified group of education officials, teachers, parents, and state representatives from across New York that is charged with comprehensively reviewing and making recommendations to overhaul the current Common Core system and the way we test our students. The Task Force will complete its review and deliver its final recommendations by the end of this year.

The Task Force includes representation from a broad group of stakeholders, including educators, teachers, parents, State Education Department officials, teachers’ union officials, and bipartisan legislators from the Assembly and Senate.

One of the individuals selected to serve on the Task Force is Greater Johnstown School District teacher Heather Buskirk. Heather has been teaching for 10 years. She teaches physics and math at Johnstown High School, and is an integral part of designing and teaching at the Learning Project, a STEM academy for Johnstown students. In addition to her school responsibilities, Mrs. Buskirk is an instructional coach in the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery P-TECH program where she works with students and provides support for teachers using project based learning to design and deliver curriculum. Within the New York State Master Teacher Program, Mrs. Buskirk is a member of the Project-Based Learning Professional Learning Team and facilitated a workshop for her peers titled “Project Based Learning 101.” She is also a member of the Master Teacher Program Delegation to the TeachNY Advisory Council, through which the State University of New York has convened state and national experts to ensure that there are clear policies in place that both enable and help sustain exemplary teacher and leader preparation practice and address persistent challenges throughout the education pipeline for students.

The Common Core Task Force will be led by Richard D. Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners, LLC and Former Chairman of the Board of Citigroup, Inc.; other members include: 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, and Nancy L. Zimpher, Chancellor, State University of New York (SUNY),

To learn more about the Task Force and its members, or to see the Governor’s press release in its entirety, please visit:

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