Today Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch called the press to announce that the Regents and NYSED would be holding 16 parent forums around the state, including four on PBS channels.
Tonight, the NYSED released more information:
Under fire for canceling four town hall-style forums on the new Common Core standards, the state Education Department announced this afternoon it now plans to hold 16 community forums around the state on the contentious issue.
King had announced he would “suspend” four of the meetings on the curriculum standards after several meetings that included angry parents and crowds in Utica and Poughkeepsie, arguing the events had been “co-opted by special interests” trying to hijack the discussion (the state United Teachers pushed back against this, calling it false).
But today, King said he wanted to a “respectful” conversation with parents that will be moderated by state lawmakers and attended by members of the Board of Regents.
“I want to have a respectful, direct, and constructive dialogue with parents,” King said in a statement. “More and smaller discussions will make sure there’s a real opportunity for parents to be heard. This is just the first round; we’ll continue to schedule forums for parents. We want these to be regular events. We want the conversation to rise above all the noise and make sure parents understand the Common Core, and, just as important, we want to understand parents’ concerns. We all share the same goal: to make sure our students have the skills and knowledge to be successful in a changing world.”In addition to the 12 forums, four separate events will be broadcast on public television as well.
The first forum will be held in Albany City School District on Oct. 24, while additional meetings will be held in Rochester, Westchester, Suffolk and Nassau counties as well as Schroon Lake, Binghamton, Amherst, Syracuse and Jamestown.
That the education reform establishment has decided that NYSED Commissioner King can no longer be trusted to carry the Common Core gospel message and has decided that members of the Board of Regents will go unto the people and explaineth the Common Core shows you how seriously they are now taking the pushback on their agenda.
And as I posted earlier, education reformers around the country are watching what happens here in NY State, knowing that if the reforms fail here, other states will start to cave on their own Race to the Top/Common Core plans.
This is a big push by the reform establishment to either win over the public with their propaganda.
That said, I do not think this public relations extravaganza will work.
They're controlling the message and the venues, so I doubt they will have a p.r. debacle like last week in Poughkeepsie.
But because they have no intent on giving up on the reforms, they are simply making it look like they're listening to parent concerns while they go full speed ahead with their agenda, they are going to face the same anger and frustration from parents and teachers that King faced last week.
In the end, they are not going to change any of their reforms - not the Common Core standards, not the Endless testing that goes along with it, not the teacher evaluations tied to those tests which will ensure teachers will teach the Core the way they want them to, not the data collection in the inBloom project - and ultimately I think that is why this propaganda tour by the Board of Regents will fail to win over parents or teachers or stem the growing opposition to their agenda.