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Common Core Forum Generates Questions & Concerns

About 100 parents, teachers, and other interested area residents came to the WXXI studios Tuesday  night to offer comments and try and get answers about the new Common Core standards. A panel of state education officials that included State Education Commissioner John King, and local state regents Wade Norwood and T. Andrew Brown listened to the comments and tried to address the concerns.

The state officials say  there is work to be done, but they are still focused on moving forward with the new guidelines.

The kinds of concerns expressed at the forum, broadcast live on WXXI -TV and radio, and streamed online, were similar to those brought up at similar hearings around the state...some of those speaking at Tuesday night's session say they agree in principle with the idea of strengthening academic standards, but they are worried about how those guidelines will be implemented.

Matt Cole is the superintendent of the Livonia School district, and he has budget concerns.

"How to meet these increased expectations without the state aid and without the financing to get it done to be able to put more resources in the classroom for our teachers and students ."

State Regent Brown says the Board of Regents realizes that money is a concern.

"Certainly the Board of Regents understands the concern with financial need. We understand that the common core and the full reform rollout has put some stress on districts. We are working with districts to try to  change that . We will be submitting  legislative budget proposals and we are seeking additional funding that we hope to be able to pass on to districts.”

State Education Commissioner King  realizes there is still work to be done on putting  this new educational plan into effect.

"There are disagreements for sure about the process for implementing the standards, the teacher and principal evaluation system and those are things we'll work through over time but there's very strong consensus around the standards themselves and the promise they hold for our students ."

King has held about a dozen forums around the state and another four at public TV stations like the one Tuesday night in Rochester. You can watch a replay of the broadcast here:

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.