ALBANY – The New York Department of Education has figured out how to deal with the unwashed masses who show up to ask difficult questions about Common Core:
Make Common Core informational meetings invitation-only!
Last week the department cancelled a series of public meetings around the state regarding the new Common Core educational standards, after state Education Commissioner John B. King had to deal with a hostile audience at the first scheduled meeting.
WNYT reports the education department has rescheduled one of the cancelled forums and it will be “a small, invitation-only session.” There will also reportedly be events that are “open to the public,” but there are no details available on those yet.
We doubt they’ll actually follow through with more public sessions and risk taking a verbal beating from angry citizens again.
The situation at the first meeting quickly devolved after King consumed one hour and 40 minutes of the two-hour meeting with his own remarks and left only 23 minutes for members of the audience to have their say.
Things got worse when King attempted to use a portion of that time to rebut accusations made by audience members. Shouting and interruptions followed.
After the fiasco, the organizer of the event, the PTA, announced it was cancelling the remaining four meetings, saying King “concluded the outcome was not constructive for those taking the time to attend.”
State board of education Regent Robert Bennett claimed members of the audience used “racial slurs” towards King, though several attendees hotly disputed that claim.
We sought more details from Bennett but he didn’t return our email.
Should anyone be surprised?
New York education officials, like their counterparts around the country, rushed adoption of Common Core with little fanfare or opportunity for the public to fully digest it. And now that parents and teachers are asking legitimate questions, the education elites don’t want to address them.
That’s particularly true since implementation of the program has not been going smoothly. State officials have adopted a bunker mentality with the goal of shutting the public out.
What they’ll soon realize is that more secrecy and less transparency aren’t the solution to the mess they’ve created.
If they want people to accept Common Core, they’re going to have to face them and address their questions and concerns. Otherwise this issue will not go away, no matter how hard they try to hide.