Tag Archives: Commissioner John King

Refuse NYS testing because Common Core is broken

I have read many articles about why parents should refuse the New York State tests this year but this one by William Farmer is the one that I wish I would have written.

Will has captured my belief that the real problem is not the tests but the Common Core standards that the tests are designed to enforce as well as the refusal of many New York State officials, including Governor Cuomo, former NYS Commissioner John King and some members of the NYS Assembly, Senate and Board of Regents, to listen to the concerns raised about the Common Core standards, the tests and other associated educational changes.  There are problems with the NYS standardized tests themselves but just fixing the tests will not fix our education problems.

The key here isn’t that kids are spending too much time on “test prep” or the tests themselves. Rather, it’s that the standards upon which the tests are based are flawed and must be fixed.

It took a massive opt-out for the state to actually discuss correcting the problems they created.

New York state has admitted there are serious problems with the standards and it took four years to get to this point. The Education Department either lied to us or they were grossly negligent when rushing into Common Core.

Either option does not inspire parents to place our trust they will now do what is in the best interest of the students.

Like Will, I do not have much faith in the state officials who have discounted the voices of parents for the past four years.  Even now Commissioner Elia, while stating that parents do have the right to refuse the state tests, is still committed to the Common Core standards allowing for only minor adjustments as well as to the benefits of standardized testing.  I would like to believe that I can trust the promises for change that Commissioner Elia and Governor Cuomo have made but until I see real changes, codified in law, I believe that parents will need to continue to make their voices heard by opting-out/refusing the state tests.

 

New York Perspective on Confirmation hearing of John King as U.S. Secretary of Education

I watched the H.E.L.P. committee confirmation hearing of John King yesterday and the statements made at the hearing are totally inconsistent with my knowledge of John King.

John King was the Commissioner of Education in New York before he went to Washington D.C. to work in the Department of Education.   His time as Commissioner was a failure and parents in New York State tried to get him kicked out of the position although he resigned and went to Washington D.C. in December 2014 before he actually got fired.  Unless the U.S. wants even more of the Common Core mess that we already have, you do NOT want John King as the U.S. Secretary of Education.

You can read the details about why John King should not be U.S. Secretary of Education, written when he resigned as NYS Commissioner of Education in December 2014, here.  Basically he totally supports Common Core, high stakes testing and judging teachers and schools by student test scores and I believe these things are all bad for students in New York State as well as the entire United States of America.

A detail that has not been posted on my blog until today is the fact that I know personally that John King did not listen to parents in New York.  I know this because I am one of the ‘Poughkeepsie Five‘. These are five of the seven parents who actually got to speak at the first Town Hall Meeting on the Common Core that Commissioner King held in Spackenkill (part of the Poughkeepsie area) in October 2013.  The other two speakers were not comfortable having their names publicly listed.  You can read the whole story of Commissioner John King’s failure to communicate with parents here or just the highlights below.

Full video of the Spackenkill Town Hall Meeting with Speakers beginning at 1:23:16.

Commissioner King didn’t like what we parents had to say or how the crowd responded to what he had to say about Common Core (we were not a very receptive audience particularly when he took up an hour and a half with his talking and left very little time for parent comments/statements) and therefore canceled all the rest of the forums around the state because the first one was “co-opted by special interest groups” (those pesky parents!)  This was just the beginning of a total lack of understanding of the concerns that parents were feeling/expressing that continued until the time John King left New York State.

John King stated in the H.E.L.P. confirmation hearing: “We believe that stakeholder feedback is critical.”  I cry foul!  John King did not listen to stakeholder feedback in New York State.

#noking4seced

Spackenkill Town Hall meeting with Commissioner John King – October 10, 2013

I wasn’t writing Jolyn’s Education Corner yet when the Spackenkill Town Hall meeting with New York State Commissioner of Education John King took place on October 10, 2013.  However I believe that information regarding this meeting is relevant now that John King is being considered for confirmation as the U.S. Secretary of Education.

I learned of the Town Hall Meeting on Common Core to be held at Spackenkill High School from a friend on facebook on October 3, 2013.  I readjusted my family’s schedule so I could attend because I was very concerned about Common Core and wanted to hear what Mr. King had to say and have the opportunity to ask a question or make a statement about my Common Core concerns.

I invited other local parents to attend and talked with friends about what questions to ask Mr. King in preparation for the meeting.  On October 10, I made the 45 minute drive to Spackenkill High School with another parent from the Kingston City School District arriving early in hopes of being able to sign up to speak at the end of the meeting.

The Town Hall meeting began and it quickly became apparent that it really was just a “ra ra” session to sell Common Core to the parents.

We got lots of “education” about Common Core and how wonderful it was and then questions that had been written on index cards when we arrived were addressed to Mr. King in groups but the answers were very generic and if the audience had any concerns or further questions about the “answers”, there was no opportunity to delve into the issues.

Here is the full video of the Town Hall Meeting as well as an edited version highlighting the frustration felt by the parents at the meeting.

If you are not able to watch the entire video, I have noted times for different segments:

0:0 Introductions by New York State PTA President Lana Ajemian
5:27 Welcome by Regent Lester Young
7:00 Commissioner King presents on Common Core
18:50 “Teaching is the CORE” promotional video about Common Core in the classroom
26:30 New York State 2013 Teacher of the Year Greg Ahlquist speaks
32:35 Question & Answers begin with PTA members reading pre-written questions for Commissioner King to answer
1:22:50 (the video notes that approximately 10 minutes of Q&A lost due to battery failure)
1:23:16 Audience statements  (I spoke at 1:43:04 and was the final speaker of the night)

Thirty minutes were supposed to be allocated for statements from the audience at the end of the meeting.  Fifteen (15) people should have been able to make statements (2 minutes each) but Commissioner King responded to several statements and time was not used efficiently so only seven (7) attendees ended up being able to speak.  If you listen to the end of the full-length video you will hear the frustration from the many parents who wanted to speak and did not get the opportunity.

Much to everyone’s surprise, the NYS PTA announced the next day that the remaining four Town Hall meetings were canceled.  I posted the following on facebook on October 12, 2013 in response to this announcement:

I am very sad that the New York PTA decided to cancel the remaining 4 Common Core Town Hall meetings based on Commissioner King’s conclusion that the ‘outcome was not constructive for those taking the time to attend’.

I was in attendance at the Spackenkill Town Hall meeting and came to a very different conclusion regarding the meeting. I wrote the following comments yesterday morning before the PTA decided to cancel the forum but had not posted them. I found it very constructive to learn that there were so many parents and teachers who are VERY concerned about different aspects of Common Core and am sad and concerned that many parents at Spackenkill and those around the state who were planning to attend the other forums will not have the opportunity to voice those concerns.

****

I appreciate that the New York State PTA recognized the many concerned parents and teachers with regards to Common Core and is hosting these Town Hall meetings. However I was disappointed with how the meeting last night, October 10, turned out and I have a couple suggestions that I hope you will consider for the remaining Town Hall meetings.

It very much felt like Commissioner King was a politician trying to ‘sell’ the audience on Common Core and not there to truly answer the questions being asked. Hopefully at the next forum, the questions can be answered directly as I am sure there were specific reasons why each decision has been made and each action taken with regards to the implementation and roll out of the Common Core Standards and supporting programs/materials. Also since the state department of education has now had the opportunity to present their ‘case for Common Core’ and answer a number of questions, perhaps the initial presentation time and question time can be shortened at the next forum (assuming the video from the Spackenkill forum is available for all to review) allowing more time for the audience statements.

Please consider asking all who are signed up to make statements to line up at the beginning of the statement time and then just approach the mic as their name is called so that time is not taken waiting for each speaker to struggle out of their seat after their name is called. Also please only allow the number of speakers who will actually be able to give statements to sign up and if something does occur to take time away from statements that is not the fault of the audience, like Commissioner King stopped the speakers to rebut the comment regarding the Montessori program, please extend the statement time so that the speakers do get the allotted time to make statements.
****

I have included the text of an article from the Poughkeepsie Journal about the Town Hall meeting below as well as various responses to cancellation of the Common Core forums for your reference.

The story didn’t end for me with the cancellation of the remaining four Town Hall Meetings however.  Commissioner King announced that the reason he would not continue with the meetings was because the forums were “co-opted by special interests whose stated goal is to ‘dominate’ the questions and manipulate the forum“.  Those of us who spoke at the Town Hall meeting did not appreciate being spoken of in such a way, particularly since it wasn’t true.  We managed to find each other, thanks to the wonders of social media, and put out a statement clarifying that we were NOT a ‘special interest group’ and our only possible special interest was our kids who were being harmed by Common Core.

Unfortunately communication with Commissioner King never got any better as you can read from the reactions when his resignation was announced in December 2014.

*****

Responses to cancellation of the remaining Town Hall Meetings:

Poughkeepsie Journal report on the Spackenkill Town Hall meeting (no longer available online)

Commissioner King addresses big, critical crowd on Common Core

Oct. 10, 2013 10:56 PM

Written by Craig Wolf Poughkeepsie Journal

State Education Commissioner John King faced a critical and often loud crowd Thursday evening as he defended the state’s Common Core curriculum initiative that all students, educators and parents are coping with and that has become increasingly controversial.

King was sponsored by the state PTA, which has been collaborating with King to spread the word statewide and answer questions.

The Spackenkill High School auditorium filled with a capacity crowd.

King said, “The Common Core is about college and career readiness.” He said a quarter of students entering high school don’t finish.

“The Common Core is not about assessment, although assessment must be a part of the work that we do,” King said.

The session was at Spackenkill High School in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

Participants filed questions in advance. At times, the audience grew loud and boisterous as parents and teachers complained about the new system.

Common Core is a set of standards adopted by many states to raise the education level in all grades. A key goal is to help students learn to think and reason more. The standards were developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The standards come with a tougher set of tests.

One question that brought loud applause was, how can I protect my children’s data from vendors?

King said there is encryption and there are rules protecting such data.

Another prefiled question was, how can I help my children with homework when I don’t understand it? That was greeted with laughter and applause. King said there are portals on the Internet for the state Education Department that can help.

Some attendees held signs saying, “Students are more than a test score.”

Another prefiled question was, how will we know the Common Core is working overall?

King said we will need to ask, in five years, “Are employers still saying, we can’t find the workforce that we need?” If not, they will say, “We will take the work to other states or move overseas.”

One questioner asked how New York will attract good teachers when the career has been made less attractive by Common Core.

King cited progress made in Massachusetts when they raised standards beginning 20 years ago,”t took time to do that,” King said.

On the tougher tests, King said, “Let’s be clear: We don’t use student performance as the sole measure of student performance,” or of teacher or administrator performance.

Another theme from the audience was a feeling that so much emphasis is being placed on math and English that “other subjects like math and science have gone by the wayside.”

King said the other subjects are important, too, noting that research has found that students do better on English when they have a rich background of knowledge. “They have to build a rich background of knowledge,” he said.

The crowd grew boisterous after several public statements critical of Common Core.
One man pointed out that King’s children go to private Montessori schools.
King said those schools also have Common Core standards. He also said his kids are not fair game.

 

Say NO to John King as U.S. Secretary of Education

The White House thinks there is bipartisan support for John King as U.S. Secretary of Education. I know there is bipartisan support AGAINST John King in New York. Please make sure the U.S. Senate hears your opinion!
 
Call:
Senator Charles Schumer (202) 224-6542
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (202) 224-4451
Senator Lamar Alexander (202) 224-4944

The Senate education committee plans to consider President Obama’s nominee, former NYSED Commissioner of Education JOHN KING, for education secretary at a confirmation hearing at 2 p.m. on Feb. 25.

Update 2/25/16:

I am watching the H.E.L.P. committee confirmation hearing of John King and the statements being made at the hearing are totally inconsistent with my knowledge of John King.

John King was the Commissioner of Education in New York before he went to Washington D.C. to work in the Department of Education.   His time as Commissioner was a failure and parents in New York State tried to get him kicked out of the position although he resigned and went to Washington D.C. in December 2014 before he actually got fired.  Unless the U.S. wants even more of the Common Core mess that we already have, you do NOT want John King as the U.S. Secretary of Education.

If you want more details about why I think John King should not be U.S. Secretary of Education, you can read my blog piece here.

A detail that has not been posted on my blog is the fact that I know personally that John King did not listen to parents in New York.  I know this personally because I am one of the ‘Poughkeepsie Five’. These are five of the seven parents who actually got to speak at the first forum on Common Core that Commissioner King held in Spackenkill (part of the Poughkeepsie area) in October 2013.  The other two speakers were not comfortable having their names publicly listed.  Commissioner King didn’t like what we parents had to say or how the crowd responded to what he had to say about Common Core (we were not a very receptive audience particularly when he took up an hour and a half with his talking and left very little time for parent questions/comments) and therefore canceled all the rest of the forums around the state because the first one was “co-opted by special interest groups” (those pesky parents! although I believe he actually thought it was the teachers union who riled everyone up – apparently he couldn’t believe that parents were just truly concerned about their kids’ education).  This was just the beginning of a total lack of understanding of the concerns that parents were feeling/expressing that continued until the time John King left New York State.

How the Grinches made Common Core

For all the parents and kids discouraged by the damage wrought by Common Core in New York State, read this poem, chuckle and be encouraged to keep up the fight.

This poem was written by H. Brooks, an 11-year-old student on Long Island, whose mother is active in the Opt Out movement.

How The Grinches Made Common Core

A poem by H. Brooks, Inspired by Dr. Seuss

In Honor of the Common Core push-back, and my mommy

There once lived some people,
on top of Mount Gov.
Their name was the Government,
and they sure did love
to make education
so wrong for the kids,
those kids down in Yorkville,
in the state of New Ziz.

The Yorks, however, felt something was strange,
so they traveled up
the whole mountain range,
just to get to the top, to go try and stop,
those nasty old grinches
at the top of Mount Gov.

But the grinches said NO! We’ll fight till you obey.
We won’t let up on Core and testing! We MUST get our way!
So the Yorks went down, feeling somewhat defeated.
And the very next weekend, the York council meeted.

They talked about art, about social studies, and trees,
They talked about awful buzz-stinging bees.
But most of all, they talked about testing and Core,
The Yorks wanted less; the Gov wanted more.
The Yorks asked the little Yorks what they thought of school.
The little Yorks said, “It used to be fun, but now it’s not cool.”
So the Yorks went to Albany, to see those old meanies,
But compared to the Government, the York protest seemed teeny!

The grinches said, “We won’t change a bit!
It simply won’t help, it will just cause more fits!”
The Yorks tried very hard to set the Gov straight,
But the Gov said, “Go home! It’s getting quite late.”

The Yorks fought for months and months and weeks and weeks and weeks,
and what do you think happened next at that peak,
the peak of Mt. Gov, where the Government sat?
Finally, the King was sent out. At last!

With less grinches left, maybe it would be easier,
to convince the grinches not to be so sleezy-er.
But then – oh no! – the head Grinch was re-elected,
four more long years – and he’s clearly ineffective!

But wait – what is this? What’s happening in York?
Forums and meetings and opt outs galore!
And all this because of some hopeful dads and moms
Who came together on Facebook to keep their kids calm.

Oh me, oh my, lots of depressing things went by,
for those hopeful parents who really did try.
For out of the blue, from behind closed doors,
a Gov to replace King – who also loves testing and Core.

Now this new Gov was infamous around town,
And she made sure that all of her thoughts got around.
She made speeches and interviews and told people things
that were about as true as monkeys with wings.

Then suddenly, all at once, Yorks started to see,
The Head Gov’s making speeches, about failing CC.
And all of a sudden, they say there’s a right to Opt Out,
Have these parents done their work right? We have no doubt!

Now parents from everywhere (except the South Pole)
are fighting back, with heart, and with soul.
Kids and teens, and in betweens,
are Opting Out by the thousands. Oops! REFUSING, I mean.

And maybe – just maybe, if the Gov took these tests,
They’d opt their kids out too, I bet.
But they’re too arrogant, too greedy, too yuck!
Maybe they’ll slightly agree, if the Yorks have some luck.

Could they come down to our schools? Could they see kids read and write?
Could they finally understand why the Yorks put up such a fight?
Could they put in some more science? Could ELA non-fiction be mashed?
Could they do good for our students? Or will they just waste our cash?

This story’s not finished, there’s more yet to come.
There’s still too much testing, and Core’s on the run.
So remember, dear people, as you read this story,
Have hope for the Yorks, that they’ll soon get their glory.

Deborah Abramson Brooks, Esq.

Co-founder, Port Washington Advocates for Public Education; https://www.facebook.com/groups/1596839960529301/

Member, New York State Allies for Public Education; http://www.nysape.org/

Member, National Parent Coalition for Student Privacy; http://www.studentprivacymatters.org/  

Reject John King as Secretary of Education – Call now!

Please call Senator Schumer (202) 224-6542 and Senator Gillibrand (202) 224-4451 to let them know that parents from New York do NOT want the Senators from New York to approve John B. King Jr. as the Secretary of Education.

 Parents rejected him as Commissioner of Education here in New York and he should not be the Secretary of Education for the country!

If you don’t remember the general sentiment when it was announced that John King was resigning as Commissioner of Education in New York back in December 2014, read here and here.

Shaking up the New York State Board of Regents

Seven of the 17 Board of Regents seats were up for a vote this year by the New York State Assembly and there are now four new faces on the Board of Regents.

Regents Robert Bennett and James Dawson were ousted.  Each of these men have been on the Board of Regents for over 20 years.

Regents Lester Young, Kathleen Cashin and Roger Tilles were re-elected.  Regent Cashin has listened to concerns expressed by parents regarding Common Core and excessive testing and has been one of the few voices expressing some of these concerns on the Board of Regents so I am glad to see that she has been reappointed. An article from capitalnewyork.com says that two of the Regents re-elected have been critical of the Board’s policies but I do not know if the second Regent referred to is Young or Tilles.

The four new Board of Regents members are:  Judith Chin, Catherine Collins, Judith Johnson and Beverly Ouderkirk.

Judith Chin sounds like a promising advocate for those of us concerned about Common Core.  She also brings a wealth of educational experience and an English Language Learner perspective since she started school not speaking any English (only Chinese).

Here is an article with a little bit of information about Catherine Collins who is from Buffalo.   The article also contains a comment from Assemblyman Peter Lopez who represents a portion of Ulster County

Assemblyman Peter Lopez, a Schoharie County Republican, said many members of the Regents have been “passive observers” during the roll-out of the Common Core standards. “As a body, our Regents have failed us,” he said. “We need leaders, not rubber stamps.”

Judith Johnson brings experience in the schools as well as experience in Washington D.C. to her new position as a Regent.  She will be representing Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.

Dr. William Cala, superintendent of the Fairport School District, believes that it is not only time for some new Regents on the board but also for a new chancellor to lead the Board of Regents.  He posted the following on facebook on March 16, 2015:

Chancellor Tisch must go. This is the letter I just sent to every “old guard” member of the board of Regents.

Dear Members of the New York State Board of Regents,

Over the past year, it should be apparent that the direction of education in New York is changing. Parents have raised their voices and are no longer willing to blindly accept the state and national agenda of testing and punishment to their children and their children’s teachers. Parents have made it clear that they support their public schools and teachers and will no longer accept a rigid curriculum and testing regime.

Former commissioner King’s management of curriculum, data, parents and the implementation of the common core (as well as the common core itself) surely precipitated his departure. Parents, teachers, school board members and the general populace demanded that the process of appointing members to the Board of Regents by the legislature dramatically change and that the process become more transparent. Those demands were so loud and deafening that the legislature had little choice but to listen. As a result, unprecedented turnover resulted. The most ardent supporter of John King was regent Robert Bennett. Throughout Bennett’s term he has supported positions that have been at cross purposes with the wishes of parents and teachers. Before John King’s departure, Bennett’s praise for his policies were unwavering. In fact, when King resigned, Bennett was quoted as saying “…he is the best educator I have ever met.” Quite curious that when interviewed for reappointment to the Board of Regents recently, the story changed. It became apparent that Mr. Bennett read the tea leaves and knew that support for John King would not secure reappointment. Fortunately the legislators paid attention and knew very well where he stands on the issues and this led to Mr. Bennett’s withdrawal of his application. As you know, this was not the only incumbent who fell.

You all know the history and hopefully you all are aware of the movement for a more responsive government and a board of regents more receptive to the needs and desires of the people of the state of New York. The big question that remains is whether or not the new composition of the board will do “business as usual” or will this board respond to the outcry of parents and teachers. The most effective sign that the Regents are listening and care about the people they serve would be to elect a new chancellor.

Chancellor Tisch has vehemently supported the policies of John King and demonstrated an uncomfortable alliance with the draconian policies of Governor Cuomo. She has been unapologetic, unresponsive and deaf to the public she serves. Her continued leadership of the board will signal defiance of the will of the educational community and an arrogance of unmeasured proportions.

I trust that events of the recent weeks and months will bring a change of heart which subsequently will lead to a change of leadership so desperately needed in New York. Anything less will send a signal that the voices of communities across the state have been ignored.

Sincerely,

William C. Cala Ed.D.
Lifetime New York educator and child advocate

NYSAPE responds to announcement that John King is resigning as NYS Commissioner of Education

NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) has issued a press release in response to the announcement that NYS Commissioner of Education John King is resigning to accept a new position in Washington D.C. as advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan.

No one from NYSAPE is happy with the job that Commissioner King has done in New York as you will see from reading the comments in the press release John King Resigns:  Parents & Educators Call for a New Direction from the Regents and Demand NO Interference from Governor Cuomo.  However our focus now must be on who will become the next New York State Commissioner of Education.

Eyes from all corners of the Empire State now turn on Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, the Board of Regents, and the legislature to ensure the next commissioner represents the substantial change in direction that public school parents demand from a responsive government that serves the people.  NYSAPE calls for the Regents to adopt an open, inclusive selection process and stresses the importance of input from parents, educators, and other stakeholder groups in appointing a Commissioner who will be more accountable to the public at large.

As parents are contacting their New York State legislators and Board of Regents members (contact info here) to request that parents are indeed included in the stakeholder groups involved in selecting the next Commissioner, we need to make sure that the NYS PTA is not the single group serving as the ‘parent voice’ because they are solidly behind the Common Core Standards and have consistently rejected member requests for resolutions against high-stakes testing.  Read more about the NYS PTA and Common Core here.

Click here for additional information posted yesterday regarding Commissioner King’s resignation.

NYS Education Commissioner John King Stepping Down

Commissioner John King is resigning his position in New York after the New Year in order to be appointed to a federal education position.  John King will not be Deputy Secretary as originally reported but will be a ‘senior advisor’ to Arnie Duncan which does not require Senate confirmation.

While I have not been personally happy about the job Commissioner King has done in New York, I do not view this announcement as good news because even though he will be gone from New York State, I would NEVER wish him upon the entire country!  His position on the important issues of Common Core and testing is the exact opposite of what I believe we need.  “Like Duncan, King is a strong advocate for Common Core, high-stakes testing, and value-added-modeling (judging teachers by student test scores).”   (Diane Ravitch)

The head of the Board of Regents Merryl Tisch is quoted as saying the following about John King and his time as Commissioner of Education in New York State.

“John King has been a remarkable leader in a time of true reform,” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said. “He spent every moment working to open the doors of opportunity for all our students – regardless of their race, or zip code, or their immigration status.

“John has transformed teaching and learning, raising the bar for students and helping them clear that bar. In classrooms all across the state, teachers and students are rising to the challenge of higher standards. The positive impact of John King’s work in New York will be felt for generations. We’ll miss his wisdom, his calm leadership and his remarkable courage. But New York’s loss is the country’s gain. He’ll be a powerful force for educational opportunity in Washington.”

NYS Education Commissioner John King Stepping Down Daily News

Many parents, including myself, do not agree with Regent Tisch as you will see in the video “Goodbye Commissioner King – Medley to an Educational Failure” compiled today by videographer Mert Melfa after hearing the news that Commissioner King will be stepping down from his position in New York.  I was personally in attendance at the first meeting in the video (the one at Spackenkill High School in October 2013).

 

This statement from the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) today also seems rather at odds with Regent Tisch’s statement.

NYSUT has disagreed sharply and publicly with the commissioner on many issues. The disconnect between the commissioner’s vision and what parents, educators and students want for their public education system became so great, NYSUT voted ‘no confidence’ in Commissioner King last spring and called for his resignation.

NYSUT Statement on the resignation of Education Commissioner John King December 10, 2014

We will need to be paying attention to what John King is doing in Washington D.C. as well as contacting the New York State Board of Regents to ensure that they appoint a highly-qualified Commissioner of Education who will indeed listen to the parents, educators and students of New York regarding what we want for our public education system.

The Board of Regents is meeting next week December 15-16, 2014 in Albany.  For those who live in the Kingston City School District and/or Ulster County, our Regent member is Regent Finn.  Her contact information is RegentFinn@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-5889.

Has anything parents have said this year been heard by Commissioner King? Poughkeepsie Protest – June 10, 2014

Poughkeepsie Protest June 10 2014

Parents have spent the entire school year attempting to communicate with Commissioner King but still he is committed to Common Core! He is telling businesses that we, the parents, are “noise” to be ignored and that we are providing “deception and misinformation”.

The Associated Press reported that King told business officials at breakfast meeting of the Association for a Better New York  to ignore what he called the “noise” and speak up in the face of opposition from critics, who say the standards and testing are too difficult or confusing.

“We need you to choose not to be silent in the face of deception and misinformation. You can’t stand on the sidelines while others debate education policy. We need you in the debate, advocating for our students,” he said.

- Commish’s Common Core Pitch

Talk about arrogance! Is this the man that we want leading the education of our children?

Governor Cuomo and Commisioner King are NOT listening and I believe that change is needed in November.  However we must not let political parties divide us – we must do what is right for the children.

In the interim, we need to keep trying to be heard.  Commissioner King will be in Poughkeepsie tomorrow Tuesday June 10, 2014 to discuss Common Core and other education related issues.  He will meet with the Poughkeepsie Journal at 4pm and the interview will be streamed.

We’ll be discussing the controversial Common Core learning standards, educational funding and teacher evaluations, among other things.

Have a question for the commissioner? Email Erika Smith at esmith2@poughkeepsiejournal.com by 2 p.m. Tuesday.

NYSED’s King to meet with Journal, watch it live

Parents will gather at 3pm for a Peaceful Rally to Stand Up and Rally Against Common Core outside the Poughkeepsie Journal.  Bring signs, buttons, shirts and let Commissioner King know what you think about Common Core!