Amid criticism, NY education chief schedules 16 Common Core forums


A week after abruptly canceling a series of forums on the Common Core, New York Education Commissioner John King announced Friday that he would tour the state to hear concerns about the newly implemented, more-stringent student standards.

King’s tour will take him to 16 stops across New York, including 12 appearances at public forums moderated by state lawmakers and another four that will be broadcast by PBS stations.

Venues and dates for the forums are still being finalized but are set to be held in Rochester, Westchester County, Binghamton and Amherst, among other locations, according to the state Education Department. A televised forum will be hosted by WXXI in Rochester on Dec. 3, while a separate date will be scheduled in Binghamton.

“I want to have a respectful, direct and constructive dialogue with parents,” King said in a statement. “More and smaller discussions will make sure there’s a real opportunity for parents to be heard.”

Earlier Friday, Board of Regents Merryl Tisch said the announcement was forthcoming.

The announcement concluded a week in which King faced strong criticism from the state teacher’s union and parent groups after he chose to cancel four forums sponsored by the New York State Parent Teacher Association.

King pulled out of those meetings after he faced a barrage of shouted criticism from parents and attendees at the PTA’s first forum in Poughkeepsie last week, who expressed anger with the length of the public-comment period and the speed at which the state has implemented the Common Core


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  1. Concerned HS Parent on

    Do we have a Education Commissioner who is worth anything? Maybe he should go back to college.

  2. Thank goodness we have strong leaders like Tom Abinanti, Amy Paulin and David Buchwald in the State Legislature keeping an eye on the Education Dept. The increasing reliance on testing to determine student and teacher performance is unproductive at best and a hindrance to a well rounded education at worst. As it is, our teachers already have little incentive to teach about current events and other items not found on such exams – plus the pressures on ever younger sets of kids to perform under stressful testing conditions is clearly counter-productive.