Dear Dr. King,
I was greatly saddened to read about your decision to suspend four planned PTA-sponsored Town Hall Meetings on the Common Core.
Common Core and the standardized testing mandates we’ve placed on our schools, teachers and students are among the most significant challenges ever faced by our public education system. They deserve a full airing, and those involved — parents, students and teachers in every part of the state — must have the opportunity to be a part of the process and to have their concerns addressed.
One of the recurring complaints on common core and testing is that parents and teachers were not brought in to the planning process. To now refuse to hold future meetings would only reinforce the perception that State Education Department is forcing the curriculum without proper planning and public input.
I think the Friday night meeting in Poughkeepsie can be taken as a teachable moment. I am certain that the Town Hall events can be structured in such a way that they provide for a useful give and take, and I strongly urge you to restore these community meetings. Further I am hopeful that you will attend an education forum I am hosting with other State Legislators on October 22, at Kingston High School from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Your attendance would help assuage the frustrations, fears and concerns of the parents, teachers and school administrators in my district.
State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk
Tkaczyk mistates the Poughkeepsie fiasco date - it was Thursday, not Friday.
In any case, pressure is mounting on King - from parents, from media outlets, and from politicians - to restore the town hall meetings.
While I think it would be the politically savvy move to go to the town hall meetings and hear from parents and teachers, quite frankly I hope King holds out and refuses to leave the safety of his SED offices.
The reality is, even if King does attend, he won't really be hearing the points parents and teachers raise in opposition to his agenda.
He'll simply be putting on a dog and pony show to pretend otherwise.
I say, dispense with the dog and pony show and let your feelings hang out, Commissioner King.
You clearly don't give a shit what students, parents or teachers think or feel about the SED education reform agenda, the Common Core standards, the testing, or the inBloom data project, and to my mind, there's no reason to pretend otherwise.
I say, stay hidden behind the curtain at SED.
That's a perfect crystallization of your leadership.