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Friday, August 22, 2014
Oceanside board sets meeting for Nov. 4
Common Core testing is focus of parents, teachers
Donovan Berthoud/Herald
Maryanne Troy shared concerns about Common Core.

The anger of parents and teachers over the state’s Common Core Standards program and the testing that is its companion boiled to the surface on Oct. 15 at an Oceanside Board of Education meeting, with several trustees and parents excoriating John King, the state’s education commissioner, who earlier that day had canceled a public meeting in Garden City at which peopled were to be allowed to speak out on the new program.

In a prepared statement, King said that he could not host the Garden City meeting because “The disruptions caused by the special interests have deprived parents of the opportunity to listen, ask questions and offer comments. Essentially, dialogue has been curtailed.”

King’s opponents charged, however, that those “special interests” were largely teachers and parents who simply wanted to have their views on the controversial program heard. That King instead held a meeting in Oyster Bay for hand-picked teachers, administrators and parents did not mollify local parents and school officials.

“As a taxpayer, a voter and a parent,” said board Trustee Seth Blau, “I believe that it is a complete disgrace that King canceled the one opportunity that the teachers and parents of Nassau County had to voice their concerns and to tell the king that he isn’t wearing any clothes.

“As the chief education officer of the state,” Blau added, “he should be ashamed of himself.”

Blau called on the board to ask local elected officials to put a hold on the program. He also called on parents to contact King and other officials and express their views on the issue.

In response to the concerns of parents, the board and the district administration, a special board meeting will be held at the middle school on Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m., to address parents’ questions and discuss what action the board can take.

Trustees told the audience that the board would investigate with its attorney the possibility of drawing up a resolution calling on the state to hold the program in abeyance until problems can be resolved.

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