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State Ed Commissioner Talks Common Core Controversy
TROY -- The Common Core controversy takes over the state Education Commissioner's visit to School Two in Troy. The appearance Tuesday morning was his first since abruptly canceling meetings across the state about the new testing standard.
Commissioner John King was making a visit to the Troy school to observe how it was using a $4.2 million grant. That was given to implement a longer school day and technology, among other things. But, the focus across the state was how he would address the controversial common core standards.
King pulled the plug on the meetings after a meeting in Poughkeepsie turned loud. "There were a set of special interest groups that intended to disrupt the meeting and meaningful dialogue about the standards," the commissioner said. "I would separate that from the overall implementation of the common core which is going quite well as we visit schools across the state."
But many parents say they can't understand what their kids are learning. Academic intervention, or extra help, is offered but only to the lowest performing students -- not all those who fail. More kids are failing standardized tests, and there is a greater emphasis on those tests.
"Any time you have something as significant as a change in state standards you're always going to have varying levels of effective implementation," King said.
But because of the struggle in implementing all of this, there is concern that retention rate of teachers will suffer and they may leave a school after only a few years. 45 states have implemented these new standards according to the commissioner. The standards were intended to raise the bar and make American students more globally competitive.
There is no word yet on when meetings may be rescheduled. King also would not identify the so-called "special interests" at the Poughkeepsie meeting.