State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. said this morning that state education officials will continue to consider adjustments in response to concerns they’ve heard at public forums, but that they will not acquiesce to complaints that the new Common Core standards are simply too difficult for students to learn.

“To me, the folks who are making the argument that it’s too much, it’s too hard, essentially an argument for lower standards, they’re just ignoring the reality,” King said during a meeting with editors and reporters at The Buffalo News.

King said state education officials plan to continue to discuss adjustments they will make to state tests and other education initiatives when the Board of Regents meets next week.

“I’m sure we’ll hear similar concerns tonight, and we’ll try to work our way through them,” King said. “Some of the concerns are adjustments that we know we want to make.”

For example, King said, he anticipates hearing concerns about state assessment policies for students with disabilities, an issue he said he is working with the U.S. Department of Education on in an effort to allow special education students to be tested based on their instructional level, rather than their chronological age.

“Some of the concerns are adjustments that we know we want to make,” King said. “So for example, we’ll hear, I’m sure, from parents and teachers concerned about students with disabilities and assessment policies for students with disabilities. We worry about that, too.”

Regent Robert Bennett said he heard seven themes emerge from a public forum in Jamestown last week: testing, the rollout of new Common Core learning standards, student privacy, the need for more professional development, parental engagement, standardized testing and students with special needs.


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