Education chief: We can do better

Posted at: 03/21/2014 12:15 AM
Updated at: 03/21/2014 3:23 PM
By: Dan Levy

TROY - New York's education chief says we can "do better" when it comes to educating our children, a declaration coming Thursday night while delivering his annual State of New York Education Address at Sage College in Troy.

 A central theme of Dr. John King's address was motivating young people, saying he wants "every student instilled with the notion that through hard work and effort, anything is possible."

At a time of unprecedented change in New York classrooms, and the accompanying controversy that goes with it, King's vision for school districts is to create "a culture of continuing improvement."

"New York is a state that has many excellent school districts and at the same time we have challenges," King says, "We know we can do better and we're engaged in a statewide effort to do better."

King says he's confident the state is heading in the right direction but he also wants to make sure there's enough of a focus on the school districts that have been struggling the most, mindful of the many economic challenges.

"Over the last couple of years, the state has been able to increase resources into education and we're hopeful about the budget process under way now that we'll see a significant increase in funding for schools," King says.

State Ed has asked the legislature for $1.3 billion in additional funding, a process that'll play out during budget negotiations at the capitol over the coming weeks.

"It's also worth saying it's not just about how much the total amount is," King points out, "it's also about spending decisions that are made locally and we've got to look for every opportunity to create efficiencies at the local level as well."

Even though the state has run into roadblocks while rolling out the Common Core Standards, make no mistake about it, from John King's vantage point, that's the direction New York is heading.

"Common Core is about a common sense set of standards that'll help our students," King says, "It'll help them be prepared for college, careers, and life."