November 05, 2015

Speak out at Friday's Common Core 'listening sessions'

Author: Sylvia Saunders
Source: NYSUT Communications

After criticism from parent groups and NYSUT's request for a change, the Governor's Common Core Task Force has changed the timing for five upcoming public listening sessions across the state on Friday, Nov. 6, and four more early next week.

Instead of being scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Friday sessions will now be 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Next week's session's will be 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"While still not an ideal time, this will make it more convenient for parents and educators to attend," said NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino, a member of the governor's task force who pushed for the time change. "While it is very short notice, we're encouraging our members to participate."

Friday's regional locations will be Long Island, New York City, Hudson Valley, Capital Region and Finger Lakes. Information on the specific locations and how to sign up to testify is available on the task force website.

Meanwhile, late Thursday afternoon, the task force posted four additional regional sessions for next week. They will be held Monday, Nov. 9, in the southern tier; and on Tuesday, Nov. 10, in Central New York, the North Country and the Mohawk Valley. All four sessions next week will be held 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Fortino, who will be a task force representative in Lake Placid on Tuesday, suggested the 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. time slot so that more educators and parents may attend.

Live testimony on learning standards, curriculum, testing, teacher evaluation and other Common Core issues will be limited to three minutes per person. Check-in starts at 3:30 p.m. Written testimony can be submitted at the meeting or through the task force's website until Nov. 30.