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A behind-the-scenes look at how new Common Core meetings are being organized

An upcoming opportunity to discuss education policy on Long Island with Commissioner John King is invitation-only and has a cap on the number of parents who can attend, according to an email sent out this week by a district superintendent who is participating in the event.

The meeting will include 15 Long Island districts, all of which are allowed to invite 50 people, according to the email. Each district is allowed to invite a limited number of parents (15), teachers (12), administrators (12) and board members (7). Tickets are reserved for four students per districts as well.

The email, which was shared with GothamSchools, was sent out by Port Washington Superintendent Kathleen Mooney to school board members and district employees after she was briefed on the forum’s details in a meeting with state Senator Jack Martins, who is helping to coordinate the event. The forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 13 at Mienola High School from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

The planning details outlined in the email are a sign of just how concerned state officials have grown about the push back that King has received in meetings with parents and school community members. The meetings are designed to discuss contentious issues like the state’s Common Core rollout, increased testing, and student privacy.

A local meeting with King earlier this month was derailed by raucous crowds who heckled the commissioner. The incident prompted the state to call off the remaining forums and start planning their own, a move that drew criticism.

The new forums are being organized in partnership with state lawmakers, and King has promised they would happen more frequently and include more intimate policy conversations with parents.

From: Kathleen Mooney
Subject: Commissioner King Forum – Nov. 13, 2013

Date: November 6, 2013 at 1:16:20 PM EST

Some of you may be aware that Senator Jack Martins is hosting a forum with Commissioner King for the 15 school districts in his area. The forum is scheduled for:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mineola High School

4:00PM to 6:00PM

The event is by invitation only. I attended a meeting earlier today with Senator Martins and the other superintendents of the districts involved to find out the details of how this forum will be structured. The details are as follows:

The forum will be divided into four 30 minute question and answer sessions. The four topics will be the Common Core Learning Standards and their roll out/implementation, APPR, Testing/Assessments, and inBloom/student privacy. Each superintendent was asked to submit 10 questions on each topic to Senator Martins by Tuesday, November 12, 2013. The questions are to include the name of the person asking and the person’s role. Each district will be provided with the opportunity to ask at least two questions during the forum and the person who submitted will be called upon to ask it directly to the Commissioner.

Because of the short turnaround time, I will need your questions by Friday, November 8, 2013 in order to collate them and have them ready to give to Senator Martins by Tuesday. In addition, each district was provided with 50 tickets, that are numbered, to be distributed among various constituencies. The distribution is as follows:

BOE members 7

Administrators 12

Teachers 12

Parents 15

Student Leaders 4 (2 from Schreiber, 2 from Weber)

I am asking the leadership of each group to determine who will receive these tickets and to let me know by Friday, November 8, 2013. Since the number of tickets is limited, those who accept must attend. If you are unable to distribute all of your tickets, please let me know and I will offer them to other groups who may have a waiting list. Once the invitees have been identified they will receive their numbered ticket from my office. You can let people know that the event will be livestreamed and can be viewed on the Mineola School District website. The atmosphere is to be civil and dignified. No placards or banners will be permitted. Senator Martins is the moderator.

I apologize for the short notice, but I have only learned of the specifics for the forum late this morning. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


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