State of Education: Issues facing schools
We recently met up with New York State Commissioner John B. King. He addressed teachers and students on the new school year, but also talked about some key issues facing our schools. That's our subject in today's State of Education.
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Administrators, teachers and students welcomed commissioner King at the Proctors Theater in Schenectady. There are many priorities for New York State classrooms. One is common core standards, which is designed to change the approach to English Language Arts education and literacy in general.
"Ask students to do more persuasive writing where they're writing using evidence drawn from text, ask students to do more close reading of text, where they really pay attention to what the author's argument is," King said.
And then there's addressing the state funding for the January Regents, which will be back in place at least for this year.
"However, we continue to face a serious set of fiscal challenges as a department, as a state, and so we're going to need to go back to the executive and the legislature to identify resources going forward," King said.
Also on the agenda, taking another look at the progress of the "No Child Left Behind Act," where the goal is all students would be proficient in all schools by 2014, which the commissioner says is a target that won't be met.
"So one of the things that we're now looking at is whether there may be the potential to work with the federal government to alter the accountability measures within the No Child Left Behind through a waiver process with the U.S. Department of Education," King said.
Which would allow the focus to be towards schools with the largest amount of struggling students.
And his message for this new school year to students was to challenge themselves with reading and writing and there's also a new motto: Work hard, get smart, as the subjects continue.