A Lohud Journal News editorial, however takes the kid gloves off and gives him a well-deserved working over:
The state Education Department has announced a series of 12 new forums on Common Core standards. The move finally fulfills Education Commissioner John King’s pledge to restart the forums, after his hasty decision to postpone the sessions when a Poughkeepsie meeting devolved into near-chaos.
Let these forums serve as a “make-up test” for the commissioner, who clearly missed the mark on gauging the concerns and frustrations of parents. He failed — especially at using his listening skills — during the state PTA-sponsored forum at Spackenkill High School in Poughkeepsie.
After postponing the earlier forums, King said he wanted to find a format that would lead to more constructive dialog. The large auditorium, and King’s insistence on interjecting his comments at the cost of questioners’ time, was an obvious formula for failure. The new meetings will be in smaller settings and moderated by state legislators. Plus, Board of Regents members will be there, too, presumably to help answer questions, not baby-sit the commissioner.
After King yanked the state PTA-sponsored forums, education activists and some state legislators called for his resignation. While announcing the new forums, King said: “More and smaller discussions will make sure there’s a real opportunity for parents to be heard. ... We want the conversation to rise above all the noise and make sure parents understand the Common Core, and, just as important, we want to understand parents’ concerns.”
King can save the process — and his job — by paying more attention to parents’ concerns, not pushing his message.
King blamed “special interests” for the earlier meeting’s failures. But it’s not just “special interests” that have railed against New York’s turbo-speed shift to Common Core, including the implementation of Common Core-aligned high-stakes tests, even before the curriculum had been taught.
In calling for King’s resignation on Thursday, Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, D-Mount Pleasant, said: “For quite some time, Education Commissioner John King has closed off all meaningful conversation with parents, educators, administrators and elected officials who have highlighted serious deficiencies in state Education Department policies. He has exhibited a conscious disregard for their concerns.”
While King has made visits to the Lower Hudson Valley, and around the state, to explain Common Core, there remains a hunger among the public to have their voices heard. King now has another chance to help move the public conversation forward — it’s an assignment that’s past due.
You'd never see the flacks at the Times, DN or Post editorial boards writing somethingas truthful, honest and forthright on Commissioner King and the SED reform agenda as this Journal News editorial.
It's good to see the Journal News holding Commissioner King accountable for his petulance and his incompetence.
Now let's see how he handles these new forums.
I suspect he'll be on his best behavior and most of these meetings will go on without incident, but once parents realize he and the Regents are simply paying lip service to parent concerns over the Core, the tests, and the data collection, it will all hit the fan once again.