cancelled four upcoming Town Hall meetings to discuss the new Common Core learning standards after NYSED Commissioner John King faced heavy criticism from parents at the first session in Poughkeepsie.Last week, the New York State PTA and New York State Education Department
New York State Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) called for the meetings to be rescheduled, criticizing the cancellations.
"The decision made by Commissioner King to cancel a scheduled string of public forums on Common Core is the wrong message to send to our students, parents and educators," Carlucci said Friday through a press release. "While we may disagree on the merits of an issue from time to time, I believe that injecting politics and controversy into a topic as important as this serves no one and seeks to divide us in the long term. Now is the time to begin having an open and frank dialogue for the best course of action, particularly when discussing the critical importance of standardized testing and teacher evaluations."
King and the New York State PTA defended the decision to cancel by saying the environment at the forum in Poughkeepsie was unproductive. After the state made a presentation for an hour and forty minutes of the two-hour session, the public was given 20 minutes to comment. When King tried to respond to comments, those in attendance attempted to shout him down, claiming he was infringing on their time. Read more about the forum and cancellation here.
"There remains many unanswered questions regarding how we can make this system work more effectively," Carlucci said. "In order to address these concerns, we need to solicit input from all stakeholders on these issues instead of ignoring their voices. Today I am calling on the Commissioner to reschedule these crucial PTA meetings without delay so we can move forward on how we can improve our education system for all New Yorkers."