The New York State Education Department has failed the basic course for good governance: listening.
After an embarrassing shouting match emerged during a Parent Teacher Association-sponsored town hall meeting about the Common Core standards in Poughkeepsie, Commissioner John B. King Jr. was befuddled by the session. After hearing a packed audience boo, jeer and hurl personal criticism at his family, he decided to suspend four other scheduled meetings.
The Education Department claimed the forum was “co-opted by special interests.” Mr. King is quoted by the Albany Times Union as justifying the suspension 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 denied.”
Before the Poughkeepsie meeting, 2,500 people gathered in Buffalo and 1,000 in Utica to comment on the newly adopted Common Core. In Albany, the city school board has scheduled a meeting to discuss a resolution decrying the “over-reliance and misuse of standardized testing.”