NYS Education Commissioner presents lecture on education reform

NYS Education Commissioner presents lecture on education reform

Dr. John B King, the New York State education commissioner, presented a lecture for the following year’s K-12 education reform on the University School of educations annual Carol Gresser Forum on April 8.

The Forum was established by the University in 1998. It aims to discuss and amend contemporary methods of education reform with commissioners and Chancellors throughout New York City.

Since the Forum’s convention, it has featured presentations by professionals who have made profound impacts on educational processes on local, national, and international levels.

This year’s speaker, Dr. King, was appointed commissioner in 2011 and is charged in leading education reform across New York.

King administers over seven thousand public schools consisting of over three million students.

Despite the previous years of success in high school graduation growth rates in the state, the focus of the lecture was to address the issues of high school graduates not being able to successfully transition into college coursework upon graduation.

King noted that out of the 74% of students who graduate high school, less than half contain the skills to enroll in college. Out of that half, over 50% who enroll in community colleges and around 80% who enroll in CUNY College, take remedial courses.

King introduced methods of reform to mitigate the lack of skill from students for the upcoming year by implementing teacher and principal evaluation, improved leverage data in education, but most importantly stressed the implication and adjustment of common core standards.

“Just a new set of standards on the wall is not sufficient” he said.

“We must ensure we execute the common core curriculum for students to conceptually understand the coursework”.

Edition of the core curriculum consisted of shifts in instruction for adolescent students to first begin to understand the meaning of words through experience with an increase in non-fiction readings with content from fields of history and science.

Additionally, the lecture advocated the importance for the increase in the quality for students to understand mathematical concepts opposed to simply solving for an answer.

Gabriella Pombo, an education major said the lecture was very insightful and provocative for an avid educator, despite increase in expectations.

“The means he provided for improving the education system in our region made a lot of sense and should have been the method for teaching in previous years” she said. “It may be more work for the teachers, but education is the best investment for the future economy so it’s totally worth it”.

Dr. King concluded by stating the importance of implementing the new methods of reform for students to receive quality education for upcoming years.

“Each year 1,500,000 [students] end high school without being prepared for college” he said.

“So every year we delay on implementing changes and structure that will support their success is another 150,000 students will be unprepared for what they face in college.”