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Commissioner King testifies before Senate Education Committee

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Commissioner King testifies before Senate Education Committee
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A tense day of testimony as State Education Commissioner Dr. John King appeared before the Senate Education Committee, of course discussing the Common Core Curriculum. Time Warner Cable News Reporter Erin Connolly has been following this story all day and is in Albany at the State Capitol with more.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- State Senator Kenneth LaValle said, "I have a vision that on the commissioner's desk is a big button and it says delay. So my question is when you go back are you going to hit the delay button?

State Senator George Latimer said, "I think we're steaming across the North Atlantic. We have reports of icebergs out there and we're not slowing down. We're not tracking where those icebergs are. When Senator LaValle said we should hit the delay button, I'd hit it right now.''

Delaying the common core was the message from many State Senators Thursday as New York State Education Commission Dr. John King was hammered with questions and criticisms.

State Senator Carl Marcellino said, "As a classroom teacher myself for 20 years, it takes time. You can't say one day you're doing it this way and the next day you're doing it that way.''

King defended the Common Core Standards but did admit that its rollout was flawed.

Dr. John King, the New York State Education Commissioner said, "We've always said implementation has been uneven. Any time you try and raise standards across 45 states and thousands of districts, there will be challenges along the way.''

Other concerns raised during the two hour hearing was the enhanced common core regents exams, the way teachers are being evaluated and the testing of K-2 students, the latter being something both sides agreed on.

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said, "These are little kids. And to start them in that testing culture at such an early age, I think is very troubling."

Dr. King said, "So we agree with the effort to address K to 2's traditional standardized testing. And making sure any assessments done in K to 2 is about observing students."

Despite what was a very heated meeting at times, both sides wanting a bright future for New York's children.

Dr. King said, "We are all here for the students. That's why I come to work every day and serve the mission of ensuring our students have the skills they need to succeed."

Senator Latimer said, "Commissioner, as committed as you are to this path and as convinced as your are that it's right, I am equally convinced we are on the wrong path.''

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