Full Episode Apr. 17: Education Commissioner John King, Autism Speaks, Moving with Grace

April 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm

On this edition of MetroFocus, New York State Commissioner of Education John King makes the case for the Common Core standards and testing. Commissioner King told MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman, “Some of the controversy is based on misinformation, some of it is real because it’s hard to raise standards. We’re simultaneously raising standards in 45 states, 700 districts here in New York, and that’s going to be challenging. It’s always going to require adjustments along the way.”

April is Autism Awareness Month, and one of the biggest non-profits devoted to finding answers and raising awareness, Autism Speaks, is here in New York. The worldwide organization was founded by former NBC Universal chairman Bob Wright and his wife Suzanne. Their grandson Christian inspired the Wrights to create the foundation when he was diagnosed with autism eight years ago. “We had nowhere to go. And I just couldn’t believe this population and families were without any help and without any voice,” Suzanne Wright said. “So we decided that we were going to give them a voice and a very loud one, Autism Speaks.”

And when former NBC correspondent and Dateline NBC co-anchor Stone Phillips first learned his mother was in the early stages of dementia, he began recording interviews with her and his father. Those home movies turned into a new documentary, “Moving with Grace,” that’s airing nationwide on PBS stations and premiering April 20 at 7pm on Channel Thirteen. It follows Phillips’ parents as they move out of their home in Missouri and eventually into an assisted living facility and highlights the struggles of caring for aging parents. “It really is a role reversal,” Phillips told MetroFocus’ Rafael Pi Roman. “We are parented by our parents, and at some point we have the unsettling experience of becoming a parent to them.”

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, Jody and John Arnhold and the Metropolitan Media Fund. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America, your retirement company.

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