November 26, 2013
During Education Commissioner John King’s visit to Binghamton on Nov. 25, he joined State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Regents member James Tallon at WSKG’s studios in Vestal for a forum on Common Core.
Common Core is a stricter set of expectations for students that have been adopted by most states. The first test results in New York, based on those standards, were released this year. Low scores led to widespread criticism that the new standards were being put in place too quickly.
King asked those in attendance to be patient as the system adapts.
“Any time you try to raise standards across 45 states, it’d be very surprising if there weren’t concerns," said King. "And our job is to hear them out, to try to make thoughtful adjustments where we can and also to help folks understand why we believe so strongly that the Common Core holds the promise of allowing more of our students to be college and career ready.”
About 100 parents, teachers and administrators attended the forum. Many came to ask the state and Commissioner King to slow down and make some changes.
"Common Core can be beneficial, but there is a lot of work to do before that." --Kristin Barton, teacher
“What I would hope for is a little bit of waiting, a moratorium. I think that’d be a great idea right now, to just back off a bit. Let people get their legs under them. Let students get their legs under them.” --Kim Becker, teacher
“My particular concern is students with special needs and learning disabilities and how this might be affecting them. Will they still be able to be in a less restricting setting?” --Casey Cavley, education advocate
“I think standardizing the curriculum will be beneficial. I just think that measuring its effectiveness is it’s biggest hurtle.” --Georgia Westbook, Binghamton High School student
“I feel that there was a lack of information given to students and the parents. So I am hoping just to get just some general knowledge of what the curriculum is about and how it’s going to help the students and the teachers.” --Mia Robertson, mother of high school student