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Education forum in Buffalo tonight

Ashley Hirtzel

The New York State Education Commissioner Dr. John King and Regent’s Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett will host an educational forum in Buffalo Thursday night.

The 'Education Conversation' will take place at 6 p.m. at WNED studios. The first hour will be broadcast live on WNED-TV and WBFO. It will give audience members a chance to ask submitted questions regarding the Common Core standards, teacher evaluations, and other educational reforms.

King has taken part in several similar forums across New York State. The most recent was last week in Jamestown where teacher Chris Riley said the expectations of Common Core are unclear.

“The modules designed to assist teachers in implementing the Common Core are in adequate, inappropriate, and laced with errors. Teachers should not have to check ‘EngageNY.org’ to be alerted to errors found in the modules. It’s unsettling when good veteran teachers consistently question the modules and their appropriateness. If I as a teacher planned in this fashion and was this prepared to deliver my lessons I would no doubt find myself with a rating on ineffective,” said Riley.

King said he doesn’t believe that the Common Core standards are flawed. He maintains that many schools utilizing Common Core agree with its benefits.

Also, during the Jamestown forum kindergarten teacher Eileen Healy voiced concern that the state is putting pressure on younger children that they’re not developmentally ready for.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO News
Educational Forum in Jamestown last week.

“We know from research that children learn best through play and exploration. There is no time within the Common Core curriculum day for play and even for learning stations. I’m very concerned with the increase of behavior issues as children become frustrated and act out in the classroom,” said Healy.

Commissioner King said adjustments can be made to the Common Core standards, but he stands by the fact that it’s the best way to prepare students for college and careers.

“Those who argue for lower standards, those who argue that we should expect less of students, I frankly think that they’re wrong and that their view risks undermining the long-term prosperity of our state and our country,” said King.

New York State is one of 45 states in the country that have adopted the new standards.