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Common Core concerns continue to dominate education forums

Concern over the state's implementation of Common Core curriculum standards continues to dominate public forums on Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.'s listening tour.

The Daily Voice of Yonkers and the Journal News of Westchester County report that hundreds of people attended the second event Monday night at Port Chester Middle School. Of the roughly 70 people who spoke during the three-hour event, most were critical, according to the Journal News account.

The Daily Voice reported that among the speakers were school board members and superintendents concerned about the impact on their districts.

King, who has been criticized for the amount of and emphasis on standardized tests in schools, as well as the rollout of the new Common Core standards, last week told superintendents that the Education Department will take several steps to streamline testing

Meanwhile, Buffalo School Board Member James Sampson weighed in on Common Core today on The News' Opinion Page. Sampson applauded King and Gov. Andrew Cuomo for "standing strong" as schools implement the new curriculum standards and blamed leaders of New York State United Teachers for "trying to derail that progress in an effort to stop the governor’s new evaluation system."

The state Education Department announced a series of 16 forums to discuss Common Core across the state after controversy erupted when King cancelled his appearances at several community meetings planned by the New York State PTA. The cancellation came after King was subjected to anger and shouting during a question-and-answer period at the first forum in Poughkeepsie. 

The format of the new forums has been changed to allow more time for public speakers.

Details of a forum slated to be held in Amherst have not yet been released by the Department of Education. 

-- Denise Jewell Gee

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | djgee@buffnews.com


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | tlankes@buffnews.com


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | stan@buffnews.com


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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