Dr. Hynes goes to Albany

JO ANN KIRKLAND PHOTO | School Superintendent Michael Hynes will meet with state education officals and other superintendents in Albany to discuss the controversial Common Core standards.

Shelter Island Superintendent Michael Hynes will be joining colleagues in Albany Monday night at the Superintendents/Regents dinner. In Albany Dr. Hynes will have an opportunity to voice his views about the rollout of the Common Core standards.

The dinner was organized by the New York State Council of School Superintendents at the suggestion of Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch. Following a round of meetings State Education Commissioner John King had throughout the state last fall, Dr. Tisch wanted to afford superintendents another opportunity to air their concerns about  Common Core standards, said Council Executive Director Robert Reidy Jr.

Dr. Hynes told the Reporter in December he was concerned that students were being tested on material they had not been taught; that part of the new teacher evaluation system would be based on those tests, unfairly reflecting their impact on their students; and that some of the materials the state was suggesting for use were squelching students’ creativity.

The Shelter Island Board of Education joined with boards from throughout Suffolk County in appealing to Dr. King and Governor Andrew Cuomo to slow down the implementation of the program.

In testimony Dr. Reidy gave to the State Senate Committee on Education in November, he reflected concerns similar to those voiced by Dr. Hynes and other East End superintendents.

At a forum at Eastport-South Manor High School in Manorville when State Education Commissioner John King came to discuss the Common Core initiative with those on the East End, he found himself confronted by parents shouting at him. The forum shed little light, but lots of heat.

Dr. Hynes and the other superintendents will have the opportunity in a calm setting to express their concerns about the  new standards, the related teacher evaluation system and concerns about the timing of the initial rollout.

“We appreciate Chancellor Tisch reaching out the council,” Dr. Reidy said about Monday night’s dinner.

He added he wants the superintendents to be forthright in telling the State Education Department staff members  how the initiative is proceeding both in their own districts and in their regions.

Dr. Hynes said he was “excited” to be included on the guest list and would have more to say after he returns from Albany.

Because of the Monday night dinner, the Board of Education has rescheduled its first budget meeting and January regular meeting that were to be held that night to Wednesday, January 22. The budget session begins at 6:30 p.m. to be followed by a 7 p.m. board meeting.