State Education Commissioner John King will hold a forum at Schroon Lake Central School to discus the new Common Core curriculum. King will discuss the new learning standards Wednesday, Nov. 20, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.
State Education Commissioner John King will hold a forum at Schroon Lake Central School to discus the new Common Core curriculum.
King will discuss the new learning standards Wednesday, Nov. 20, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.
“Sen. Betty Little, BOCES district superintendents as well as area superintendents and possibly their boards of education, administrators and parents will attend,” said Bonnie Finnerty, Schroon Lake superintendent. “In addition, it is anticipated that Board of Regents members and other legislators may attend.”
Finnerty said she no other information.
The Common Core, standardized testing and King’s presentations have created controversy. Parent groups across New York have been critical of the new standards and the New York State Assessments, which were revised to align with the Common Core. Low scores on the 2013 assessments raised concerns.
Several education groups, state legislators and others have called for King to resign.
King scheduled a series of forums across the state to discuss the new education measures, but he was heavily criticized following his first meetings. Following a forum in Poughkeepsie, when he was shouted off the stage, King canceled the remaining forums.
Those first forums included long presentations by King and allowed little time for comment from parents, teachers and others.
King, in a statement, blamed “special interests” for disrupting the first scheduled meetings, which he said led him to cancel the other town hall-style meetings.
“I was looking forward to engaging in a dialogue with parents across the state. I was eagerly anticipating answering questions from parents about the Common Core and other reforms we’re moving ahead with in New York State. Unfortunately, the forums sponsored by the New York State PTA have been co-opted by special interests whose stated goal is to dominate the questions and manipulate the forum,” King wrote.
“The disruptions caused by the special interests have deprived parents of the opportunity to listen, ask questions and offer comments,” King said. “Essentially, dialogue has been denied. In light of the clear intention of these special interest groups to continue to manipulate the forum, the PTA-sponsored events scheduled have been suspended.”
King will try again with a revised presentation in Schroon Lake.
“I want to have a respectful, direct and constructive dialogue with parents,” King said. “More and smaller discussions will make sure there’s a real opportunity for parents to be heard. This is just the first round; we’ll continue to schedule forums for parents. We want these to be regular events. We want the conversation to rise above all the noise and make sure parents understand the Common Core, and, just as important, we want to understand parents’ concerns. We all share the same goal: to make sure our students have the skills and knowledge to be successful in a changing world.”
The New York State Board of Regents approved the Common Core in 2010. The Common Core curriculum, which lays out what and how students should learn, has been adopted by 45 states. It’s critics claim Common Core takes control away from local schools and teachers, while assuming all students learn the same way.
King has been criticized for being unresponsive to concerns of parents, teachers and school administrators. He’s also been criticized because he has never worked in a public school setting and sends his own children to a private school not bound by the Common Core.