Education chief suspends only Common Core forum on L.I.

10/13/2013 11:22 AM |

Thousands of frustrated parents and educators from across Long Island were expected to attend a forum in Garden City Tuesday night for an opportunity to speak with New York State Education Commissioner John King about Common Core curriculum and state testing.

But that meeting has been cancelled.

The New York State PTA, which was to sponsor the event as part of a series of forums across the state, announced on its website Saturday that the event and three other similar forums have been postponed at the request of the commissioner’s office.

“The New York State Education Commissioner’s office has requested suspending the remaining Town Hall meetings on the Common Core scheduled in the upcoming weeks,” the statement reads. “Please know that NYS PTA will continue to work with all education and child advocacy partners to keep our members updated and informed on education, health, safety and welfare issues affecting children and families.”

Attempts to reach the commissioner’s press office were unsuccessful Sunday.

The commissioner told Newsday Saturday that the cancellation comes after “special interests” hijacked the first such forum. The first two forums were held in Poughkeepsie and Whitesboro, N.Y.

“The disruptions caused by the ‘special interests’ have deprived parents of the opportunity to listen, ask questions and offer comments,” Mr. King told Newsday in a statement. “Essentially, dialogue has been denied.”

Dennis Tompkins, a King spokesman, declined to identify the special interests, Newsday reported.

Tuesday’s event was scheduled for 7 p.m. at Garden City High School. It was the only such forum scheduled for Long Island.

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