“These are hard times for New York City and New York State,” Coleman said. “The vultures are out. There is a culture in our city and state right now of trying to take people down, including the commissioner to my left.”
Coleman then implored the mostly friendly audience, which included former superintendents Harold Levy and Jean-Claude Brizard, “to stand up for this man for his courage in not backing down.”
After the event, Coleman said his comments were meant as a defense of King, not a response to any specific criticism.
Commissioner King has been having a very difficult time of it lately, having taken criticism at two separate parent town halls in the last week, then taken even more criticism when he canceled future town hall meetings with parents and blamed the cancellations on "special interests" for co-opting the meetings and making it impossible for him to have a dialogue with parents.
The Twitterverse and blogosphere has been awash with negative comments, statements, blog pieces and Facebook posts about King's arrogant dismissal of parents, their concerns over the Common Core and the radical SED education reform agenda.
People have been pointing the chutzpah King has demonstrated by declaring parents "special interests" and the hypocrisy King has shown by claiming special interests had hijacked the "dialogue" at the Poughkeepsie town hall meeting when news accounts report that the evening was actually a two hour John King monologue interspersed with a few minutes of parent questions that King kept interrupting.
After King issued his press release explaining why he had canceled the future town hall meetings, he went into hiding in Albany and hasn't been seen or heard from since.
Interestingly enough, neither has David Coleman or any of the other education reformers so enamored of John King just a few months back.
I have looked for comments from Coleman, Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, Dennis Walcott or any other prominent ed deformer defending King this weekend in the face of the heavy criticism he is taking and have so far, found nothing.
That no prominent reform voice is coming out to loudly defend King should be a warning sign to our erstwhile SED reformer in Albany.
As I posted yesterday, the politicians and reformers will stick with somebody so long as they are useful to them, but once that usefulness is exhausted, they will turn on them.
The silence from the ed deform side on John King is as deafening as the criticism of King coming from parents and teachers.
It is especially deafening given the passionate defense of King that David Coleman offered just a few months ago.