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State Education Commissioner speaks in Troy

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TROY, N.Y. – New York State Education Commissioner John King spoke about the state of education at Russell Sage College Thursday.

King received a warm welcome at Russell Sage as he spoke about where education currently is and where it's going in New York.

"Over the last decade in New York we have seen tremendous progress in New York with the rate of our students graduating from high school," he said. "That's an important testament to the work that's been done in school districts across the state."

The commissioner focused on the controversial Common Core curriculum, but did not mention the controversy and trouble surrounding the standards. He said he's seen the benefits of Common Core and believes April testing should be pushed forward.

"If we don't assess student performance against the standards, we'll be missing a key part of the instructional cycle," he continued. "We'll be missing an opportunity to get information on which we can act."

Education was also in the forefront at the Capitol Thursday as hundreds of protestors representing a progressive coalition stationed themselves in front of the governor's office. One of their demands was more money for schools. Fifty-nine protestors were arrested.

Pamela Garcia of Brooklyn was one of the protestors. She wanted her voice to be heard.

"As an educator, I find that when you see students that want to excel the resources aren't there," she said.

King said he was optimistic for more money to be put toward New York schools.

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

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