Public Forum on the Common Core

On Monday, October 28th, I hosted a public forum on the Common Core and related issues. The purpose of the forum was to give parents, educators and administrators throughout Westchester County a chance to share their concerns with state education officials regarding Common Core implementation, testing and other issues of importance to our school districts. We were pleased to have in attendance NYS Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Harry Phillips, another member of the Board of Regents and NYS Education Commissioner John King.

A capacity crowd attended the event, which was held at the Port Chester Middle School. More than 70 individuals had the opportunity to voice their concerns, questions and suggestions. I thought that the discussion was illuminating and hope that it will lead to further constructive dialogue and modifications to improve the Common Core and classroom instruction in our state.

If you were not able to attend the forum, you can watch the event on the Port Chester School District website by clicking here.

The comments from the public tracked many concerns previously expressed by legislators, parents and educators. The forum provided an opportunity for Westchester residents to express their concerns directly to Commissioner King and the Board of Regents. New details were also raised. I remain concerned about the over-reliance on testing, especially when the rollout of new teaching methods has not been fully implemented, shared with school districts and vetted.

I also have significant concerns about the compilation, sharing and security of student school records and personal information. I co-sponsor legislation, which passed the Assembly in 2013, to address student privacy and record security issues. Great care must be taken to ensure that sensitive student information be kept confidential in accordance with parent and school district wishes.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and concerns as we work together to ensure that our children have access to a quality education that will instill a love of learning and prepare them for college and careers. I will continue to press the issues raised at our Westchester forum.