Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Compare And Contrast the DN Treatment of John King To Newsday's Treatment

The Daily News ran with a pro-King editorial entitled "Lomg Live The King!" yesterday.

The title tells you everything you need to know about what tack they took in the King/Common Core meeting controversy.

Leaving aside that it took them 11 days to come out and defend him (though we will note that they waited for the announcement of new parent forums before they finally took a public stance on the controversy), the neo-cons at the DN made excuses for why King canceled the state PTA-sponsored town hall meetings and then said they're glad that Commissioner King has said there will be no substantive changes to the state's reform agenda:

And so, opponents are standing athwart education reform history, yelling “stop.”

The national, state and city teachers unions want a three-year “moratorium” on connecting the new Common Core tests to any stakes for parents and students.

That’s code for stalling a necessary reform in order to kill it entirely once it has been weakened.
They are demanding that King halt full rollout of a teacher evaluation system that offers, for the first time, the chance to make objective distinctions between fantastic teachers and awful ones.

A parent group called New York State Allies for Public Education (allied in New York City with the radical anti-testing group Class Size Matters), seconded by state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), has gone so far as to call for King to resign.

They watched King get crudely lambasted at a town hall meeting on the Common Core — with one parent shouting that her child was being taught curriculum “like a little Nazi.”

After intially (and understandably) nixing four planned town halls as a result, King said Friday he would tour the state, making 16 stops to hear concerns, including four to be broadcast on TV.

We say: Good for King for answering critics head-on. We also say: Good for state Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, who set the Common Core policy that King is carrying out and is standing foursquare with him.

“John has a unique voice for educational reform that includes every child in every school district in every school building in New York State,” Tisch said on Friday, adding for emphasis:
“I’m not backing down here.”

Excellent. Not one inch.

Newsday continues to support the Common Core and APPR teacher evaluation system but notes that parents and teachers have the right to have their concerns heard:
Earlier this month, state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. thought he could back out of public forums on the state's new education standards and testing after the first meeting became a shouting match. According to media accounts, the event in Poughkeepsie was so acrimonious that a person who pleaded with the crowd to settle down was himself shouted down. Two days after that meeting, King canceled four upcoming events, including one in Garden City.

If King thought he stumbled into a brawl when he exchanged ideas with parents and educators about the new Common Core curriculum, it was nothing compared to the brouhaha that erupted when he canceled further exchanges. The response was so explosive that King had to replace the four canceled appearances with 12 new ones, including four on Long Island. They will be moderated by legislators. He also is adding another four that will be televised.

King's decision to cancel meetings without a plan for alternative forums came off as a whiny, embarrassing error. Parents and teachers are upset and fearful: That's why these meetings have to happen. It's not an excuse to cancel them. But calls for King's resignation from legislators and educators are overblown. Test scores of third- through eighth-graders across the state plummeted about 30 percent compared with the previous year because the standards got tougher and the curriculum is new. The curriculum and its toughness are steps in the right direction. But parents are rightfully anxious about the changes

.Listening to and understanding what King is trying to do, and in response, offering suggestions and alternatives that could make the adoption of the new curriculum smoother, should be the point of these forums. But if people want to scream and shout, then King, who works for these taxpayers and has admitted the Common Core rollout was clumsy and poorly explained, needs to sit there and take it.

In short: 
Daily News - parents and teachers need to shut and listen to the King.

Newsday - parents and teachers have the right to express their concerns to King, Tisch and the rest of the SED/Regents reformers.

Daily News - ooh, King is so strong and manly.

Newsday - King is a whiny little embarrassment.  He needs to sit down, shut up and listen to the public even if they're only there to scream and shout.

The neo-cons at the DN do love their authoritarianism, don't they?

Alas for them, John King, like most strong men, was exposed as a coward when parents really took it to him.

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