(Port Chester, New York) STOP Common Core in New York State, a parent and teacher advocacy group, publicly condemns the New York State Education Commissioner John King for his decision to suspend four scheduled state PTA meetings on the Common Core State Learning Standards and is calling for his resignation based on his actions and remarks made after a public forum that took place Oct.10 at Spackenkill High School in Poughkeepsie.
The meeting, which was sponsored by the New York State PTA, was the first in a series of gatherings scheduled by the group to give parents and others the chance to gather information, ask questions and share concerns with King and other education department representatives on the newly implemented Common Core State Standards. STOP Common Core in New York State has strongly condemned King’s recent statement that the event was hijacked by “special interests.” Glen Dalgleish and Yvonne Gasperino, founders of the group, said the auditorium was only filled with concerned parents and teachers who respectfully listened for over 90 minutes while King presented his case on Common Core.
"When it was the parents’ and teachers’ turn to speak, Commissioner King interrupted after each speaker, running down the clock so that fewer audience members would be able to speak," noted Dalgleish. "With only about 20 minutes to voice their concerns, the audience felt compelled to demand the commissioner to sit down, allow them to speak and listen."
Dalgleish believes that King’s failure to listen to their concerns as constructive feedback led to a more vocal reaction from the audience. "Instead of participating in a dialogue as he stated he wanted to, he monopolized the forum, and informed the audience "We will not go on until I speak…". The fact that he now calls those parents and teachers that he disrespected "special interests" just shows how much contempt he has for them. The only special interests we care about are our children. That is why we were there," added Dalgleish.
STOP Common Core in New York State has concerns about King’s statements and his reaction to the growing opposition throughout the state to Common Core. They are as follows:
- Why are parents and teachers still being shut out of the implementation process and why are their concerns being dismissed out-of-hand with no two-way dialogue whatsoever?
- How can King continue to ignore the groundswell of opposition to Common Core? If he can’t defend and support the Common Core mandate he ardently advocates, how does he expect New York State legislators to defend, support and fund the policy with this kind of behavior?
- Just because King did not approve of the outcome of the first NYS PTA meeting, he should not have the power to suspend other scheduled meetings and silence the opposition to Common Core.
- Parents and teachers who are passionate about their children should not be demonized. These are still OUR children and we will continue to defend their innocence and fight for their future. Our children are NOT a commodity or “human capital” that can be bought and sold on the open market to the highest bidder. Those who make money off of Common Core do not have the ownership of the minds of our children. The parents and teachers of New York State will be heard; you can count on that.
"We, as a group, believe that King has clearly demonstrated over the past few days that he is unwilling to listen to any concerns that are raised about Common Core," noted Dalgleish. "He has also shown he is unwilling to work with and engage with New York State parents and teachers on the Common Core program. We therefore demand that the commissioner be immediately removed from office and replaced with somebody who is willing to listen and who can work with parents and teachers in this great state."