After hosting dozens of forums all over the state of New York on the subject of Common Core — and listening to the concerns of skeptical parents and teachers — Education Commissioner John King still believes that opposition to the controversial standards is based on “misinformation.”
In a letter to New York education administrators, King wrote that he was still confident that Common Core would improve schools.
“We know that moving forward with the Common Core is essential: study after study shows that our students lag behind in the knowledge and skills required for their future,” wrote King. “The Common Core standards, designed by teachers and education experts from across the country – and shaped by many New York State educators – will help us do better.”
He also wrote that schools where Common Core has already been implemented were already showing signs of improvement.
“Students in these Common Core-inspired classrooms benefit from meaningful and lasting learning,” he wrote.
King attempted to sell this message at forums held in different locations around the state over the last few months. The meetings often became contentious, as numerous critics accused education bureaucrats of ignoring concerns about the steep costs of implementation and new wave of standardized testing required by Common Core. Skeptics include conservatives fearful of a federal takeover of education, and teachers unions worried about preparing kids to pass more tests.
King’s public meetings on Common Core ended briefly in October after he grew tired of the constant criticism. But this only emboldened those who said he wasn’t receptive to criticism, and the forums resumed.
Though King wrote that he is eager to address some of the concerns raised at the forums, his message remains that the critics just don’t get it.
“Some of the concerns expressed at the forums were based on misinformation,” he wrote.