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NYE Commissioner addresses Common Core

Brighton, N.Y. - New York State Commissioner of Education, Dr. John King listened and addressed concerns from parents, students and teachers about the Common Core.

Its an issue that drew community members from the city and the suburbs.

You could hear the tension in their voices.

You could see the support in numbers as they stood for one another.

Two East High School students started the discussion, telling Commissioner King that they were college ready, and it wasnt because they took five tests; it was because they were critical thinkers and self-starters.

Commissioner King said the public forums are a great opportunity to gather feedback.

We take the feedback we receive and act upon it, King said.

King pointed out New Yorks scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP.

King said while Washington D.C. and Tennessee showed growth, he said New Yorks scores were flat which shows that a number of students are not prepared for college.

This was further confirmation or the urgency of the work were doing with the Common Core, King said.

But some parents say King is not getting it.

He doesn't seem to understand that the amount of testing, the amount of time spent preparing children for the testhe doesn't seem to recognize that it's impacting the experience of the kids and the teachers, parent Cindy Harrison said.

An impact parents like Megan Bonafede said she sees in her children every day.

Last night, my son, who's an exceptional student came and asked if he could drop math, because he doesn't feel any success in this new way. He doesn't feel confident, he is hurt and he suddenly doesn't like it anymore, Bonafede said.

Many parents say they're not against the Common Core itself, but say it should have been tested and given more time to take effect and they want Commissioner King to accept responsibility.

He needs to recognize that he messed up and he needs to be held accountable for that, parent Victoria Robertson said.

King also addressed possible changes where 8th grade students in accelerated math classes will not be double tested. 

The Commissioner said he also expects to have an answer from the U.S. Department of Education later this year.

The New York State Board of Regents also plans to submit a waiver to request to eliminate testing for students with disabilities and those learning English.

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Washington Times