Format set for education forum

Commissioner of education to visit Schroon Lake

— Details of State Education Commissioner John King’s forum at Schroon Lake Central School have been set.

King will discuss the new Common Core learning standards Wednesday, Nov. 20, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.

Schroon Lake Superintendent Bonnie Finnerty and Sen. Betty Little will host the event. Each will speak before King addresses the gather.

King will then listen to concerns from the audience.

People wishing to speak must register when they arrive. Comments will be limited to two minutes. A moderator will facilitate the comment period.

Admission to the forum will begin at 3 p.m.

People are asked to park at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, located across the street from the school; at the Schroon town hall at 15 Leland Avenue; and at the Schroon Lake fire house at 28 Industrial Way. A shuttle bus will start at 2:50 p.m. to transport people from the fire house to the school.

The Common Core, standardized testing and King’s presentations have created controversy. Parent groups across New York have been critical of the new standards and the New York State Assessments, which were revised to align with the Common Core. Low scores on the 2013 assessments raised concerns.

Several education groups, state legislators and others have called for King to resign.

King scheduled a series of forums across the state to discuss the new education measures, but he was heavily criticized following his first meetings. Following a forum in Poughkeepsie, when he was shouted off the stage, King canceled the remaining forums.

Those first forums included long presentations by King and allowed little time for comment from parents, teachers and others.

King will try again with a revised presentation in Schroon Lake.

The New York State Board of Regents approved the Common Core in 2010. The Common Core curriculum, which lays out what and how students should learn, has been adopted by 45 states. It’s critics claim Common Core takes control away from local schools and teachers, while assuming all students learn the same way.

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