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Ed Commish King On WBEN: Forums "Political", But Regents will Look at Common Core Training

(WBEN) NY State Education Commisioner John King is headed back to Albany after his last forum on the state's Common Core learnining standards, and says while it will not be changed, the Board of Regents could consider tweaks -- adding extra training for example -- at their meeting next week.

"As we have our Regents meeting next week we'll reflect on the 20 forums we've done around the state , we'll talk about some of the thouightful adjustments we might be able to make going forward, and some strategies to ensure that districts have the support they need," King said during an interview on WBEN Friday morning after a Buffalo appearance with parents the night before.
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The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia with the goal of better preparing the nation's students for college or a job.

The new standards establish benchmarks for reading and math, replacing education goals that varied widely from state to state. Although the federal government was not involved in creating them, it has encouraged the state-led project. Supporters say the standards will better prepare students, while critics say they amount to a national curriculum for schools, preempting the states.

Critics say they lead to a proliferation of standardized tests, sap teachers' creativity, and result in too much rote learning.  In August, some 2,000 parents turned out for a Buffalo information session sponsored by the Partnership For Smarter Schools, a grass roots anti-Common Core effort.

King said that he is firmly behind the stadards, and sees progress inthe classroom, even if the forums yeild nothing but criticism.

"In the forums you are seeing a lot of politics and maybe a reflection of the coarsening of our political culture," King said.

The 300 parents and educators that turned out to King's Buffalo appearance at WNED Thursday evening included one heckler removed from the studios. Earlier forums were cancelled before King proceeded with a new scehdule of them- including the Buffalo visit- after he was shouted down at an earlier session downstate.

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