ALBANY, N.Y. – On Thursday a forum will be held in Albany to address concerns about the states implementation of new common core standards in schools, but many parents are upset that the event is set to begin at 4 p.m.
The meeting will take place at Stephen and Harriet Myers Middle School, which can hold 600 people inside its auditorium along with an overflow room.
But the number of seats isn’t an issue, what most parents and even some teachers have an issue with is how early this forum is being held -- before many parents get out of work.
Deborah Clark, a mother of two school children, says she was planning to go to Thursday’s common core forum organized by the State Education Department until she found out about the timing of the highly publicized session.
“It’s virtually impossible for me to get there by 4 p.m.,” she says. “The first thing that comes to mind is Dr. King must not want to hear from parents.”
April Bacon, whose daughter attends an Albany elementary school, says she's fortunate she can move her schedule around.
“I’m going to make it a point to go to the meeting on Thursday,” she says.
But other parents may not have the flexibility.
And just who set the start time of the meeting?
Why, the same guy who set the cut scores for the Common Core tests - Commissioner John King himself!
Assemblywoman Patrcia Fahy, who has been vocal on the issue of common core, says the state legislators involved in Thursday’s forum had no say in the schedule.
“We are trying to accommodate the commissioner’s schedule, that was not our call,” she says.
And she says the details are still being worked out three days out.
Fahy says as of right now there are no plans to shift the forum to a later time in the evening
The SED says future Common Core meetings will be held at different times.
For now, it seems clear John King and his merry men and women in reform in Albany want as few critics at the first Common Core meeting as possible.