ALBANY (AP) — State Education Commissioner John King, Jr. and the state Board of Regents said Tuesday they are pushing ahead with the new Common Core learning standards even as some teacher and parent groups call for King’s resignation.
King, however, continues to have the strong support of his bosses on the Board of Regents during this latest outcry over major changes to public education.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has also strongly supported the education overhaul.
Lisa Rudley of the New York State Allies for Public Education said her group and other organizations of teachers and parents opposed to more testing and other accountability measures have no choice but to call for King’s resignation. They have criticized the Common Core and its uniform, higher standards being adopted nationwide. Critics say the Common Core requires too many tests for students and that New York is requiring leaps in expectations too quickly.
Driving the latest conflict was an Oct. 10 forum in Poughkeepsie that triggered King’s cancellation of other scheduled forums. State officials said King was shouted down by special interests seeking to manipulate the meeting, while the parents and teachers challenging the commissioner said King simply refused to accept their input.
The “meeting in Poughkeepsie mirrored his established pattern of ignoring the concerns of parents and educators,” stated the website of the Allies for Public Education. “The cancellation of the future town hall meetings shows a lack of leadership from Commissioner King. ... His ability to lead the school districts of New York has been called into serious question.”
On Friday, King rescheduled the meetings under a different format. He will hold 12 forums statewide beginning Thursday in Albany.
“I’m not backing down here,” said state schools Chancellor Merryl Tisch.
The Regents have encountered similar outrage from teachers’ unions and parent-teacher groups at every stage of major educational change in Albany over the past 20 years. With few exceptions, changes including the creation of school report cards to compare teachers and schools, an increase in the number of Regents exams and other tests to measure improvement, revamping math and science tests by experts in the fields, and other efforts continued regardless of the outcry by some organized groups.