On Thursday, he got beaten up pretty badly at a state PTA-sponsored town hall meeting on the Common Core in Poughkeepsie, as parents attacked him over his education reform agenda, problems with the Common Core standards, the inBloom data project and King's hypocrisy for sending his own kids to Montessori Unlimited, a private school with the motto "We believe education should be about more than memorization, repetition and standardized tests," while he forces memorization, repetition and standardized tests on the rest of the children in the state.
But CNY Teacher posts that King did another Common Core p.r. meeting on Monday in Whiteboro that did not go so well either (though it didn't quite approach the meltdown moments King experienced on Thursday):
You can see the anger parents have over the Common Core reforms King is pushing and, just as King didn't seem to win over anybody to his agenda on Thursday, he doen't seem to win over anybody on Monday night either.
Now of course King won't be winning anybody over to his agenda, because he's canceled all of the remaining PTA-sponsored meetings with parents (though there may be an October 15 meeting that is not sponsored by the state PTA that he is still scheduled to attend - well see if he makes that date.)
CNY Teacher wonders if King hasn't become a liability to the deform movement at this point, the face of policy intractability and public official intransigence:
After the epic public relations failure that unfolded in Whiteboro and Spackenkill this week, is it possible that the politicians and bureaucrats in Albany will come to view Commissioner King as a political liability? Has his ability to effectively manage the state’s reform agenda been so compromised that Board of Regents Chancellor Tisch, Governor Cuomo, and NYSUT President Ianuzzi will finally call for King’s resignation?
It's clear from the commentary across Twitter and the blogosphere this weekend that Commissioner King is now a target of derision, mockery and ridicule.
Ed Notes Online found him in the witness protection program, B-Lo-Ed Scene noted how King can't handle any crowd that doesn't respond with adoration for his reforminess, NYC Educator found that King can only dish out the abuse but can't handle it, NYC School Parents blog posted that King's cancellations of the future PTA-sponsored events with parents only reinforces the meme that SED officials are out of touch and incommunicado with parents, and here at Perdido Street School blog we found Commissioner King rated "ineffective" on the Danielson rubric for effective commissioners, although when King decided to cancel the rest of the remaining PTA p.r. dates, he did inexplicably make a pineapple and hare very happy and we were able to award him a Profile in Cowardice certificate.
I posted yesterday that if King were an astute politician, he would cancel the cancellations of the PTA-sponsored town halls and go out and meet the people, take his beatings over Common Core with grace and good humor, pay lip service to parents' concerns and then continue to do what he's doing on policy without any change of course.
I don't think that tactic would end the criticism of SED and the Regents, nor do I think it would save the Common Core State (sic) Standards and SED testing regime from their ultimate demise (not with the state having made parents in affluent areas like Scarsdale, Great Neck, Garden City and the like upset over the agenda.)
But I do think such a strategy would save King from being seen as a political liability by the deformers in power in Albany and NYC, something that is almost certain to happen if parents continue to rise up in anger and fury all over the state and King goes into hiding in Albany and lets his SED deputies deal with the furor (as he did on Long Island back in September.)
If King doesn't have the courage to face critics and defend himself and his education deform agenda from detractors, then he doesn't much serve the powers that be looking to promote the corporate deform agenda any longer and they will turn on him the way they would turn on any of their own ilk who no longer serve their interests.
UPDATE - 11:40 AM: The October 15 town hall has been canceled.
Commissioner King has gone from the Ed Deformer Boy Wonder to the Wizard of Oz, a charlatan hiding behind the curtains at SED.