State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. and Board of Regents Member Robert M. Bennett will participate in a public forum to discuss education reform efforts at 6 p.m. Thursday in the WNED-TV Studios.
The state education officials plan to answer questions about new Common Core learning standards being taught in schools, teacher evaluations and other educational initiatives.
Donald Boswell, president and CEO of WNED/WBFO, and Samuel Radford III, president of the District Parent Coordinating Council of Buffalo, will convene the hour-long forum. Jim Ranney, WBFO’s news director, will moderate the forum, which will be broadcast live on WNED-TV and on WBFO-FM 88.7.
Tickets for the event will be limited. Each of the 40 school districts served by the Erie 1 and Orleans-Niagara Boards of Cooperative Educational Services will be allowed to send up to three representatives to attend the forum. Members of the District Parent Coordinating Council will also be represented.
WNED/WBFO will hold an online registration for the general public based on the number of remaining seats. If the number of registrants exceeds available seating, selection will be made by a random lottery system. The general public can register at www.wned.org until midnight Sunday.
Doors for the forum will open at 4:45 p.m. Photo identification will be required for admittance, according to an Education Department advisory.
King has held a series of forums across the state to hear from the public on Common Core and other education initiatives. Last week, during an open forum in Jamestown, King and Bennett encountered dozens of speakers, many of whom were critical of state Education Department efforts to reform schools, including the amount of testing in public schools and the implementation of new learning standards in classrooms.
The format of the Buffalo forum drew criticism Friday from Assemblyman Sean Ryan, a Buffalo Democrat. In a written statement, Ryan said he had “serious concerns” about the limited number of people who will be allowed to attend the forum in Buffalo and the way tickets will be distributed. He urged the Department of Education to choose a venue with a larger seating capacity.