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State's Common Core Tour Has Yet To Play Big Apple

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All month, state education officials have faced angry crowds from Albany to Port Chester over the roll out of the new Common Core curriculum, but they haven't come to the city, at least yet. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed the following report.

Hundreds pack into public meetings that last late into the night as angry students, parents and teachers take their turn at the microphone to vent their frustration with education officials, who audience members accuse of not listening.

A familiar scene here in the city.

But for the past few weeks, this scene has been playing out upstate with the crowds' anger directed at the State Education Commissioner John King, and Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch.

These are forums about the state's rollout of the new national learning standards, called Common Core. New York was one of the first to switch to the new curriculum and much harder standardized tests.

King initially planned five of these events, none in the city. But after facing a furious, disruptive crowd in Poughkeepsie, the commissioner cancelled the rest. The backlash was immediate - at least two lawmakers called for his resignation.

King then announced 12 new forums. Again, none in the city. He's held two so far, with hundreds attending each. Most came to criticize.

Many city parents and teachers say they also want a chance to speak out about the new curriculum and testing. When state senators held a hearing Tuesday in the city on the reforms, it was one of the first questions.

"Within the next week or so, we'll be announcing three or four forums that are going to take place in the city. It was never our intent not to do them in New York City," Tisch said.

Though there may not have been any forums yet, the topic has come up in at least one crowded school auditorium here in the city, and from someone whose opinion carries some clout: President Obama.

"And I also want to congratulate Governor Cuomo and all of you in New York for having the courage to raise your standards for teaching and learning to make sure that more students graduate from high school ready for college and a career.  It’s not easy, but it’s the right thing to do. It’s going to prepare more young people for today’s economy.  We should stay at it," Obama said.

It's a subtle but powerful show of support for the state's beleaguered education officials.

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