After Commissioner King got booed at a forum they sponsored in Poughkeepsie on the Common Core last month, they backed King when he announced he was canceling future forums because of the criticism.
But yesterday, they launched an attack on the state's Common Core implementation that is really an attack on John King:
The New York State PTA announced a new campaign today, calling on the state Education Department for at least a year's delay in linking student test scores to teacher and principal evaluations, among other things.
PTA President Lana Ajemian told reporters in a conference call that the association's members support the increased rigor of the Common Core standards but are deeply concerned about the way they are being implemented in New York.
"I can say we have not seen this level of passion among parents for as long as I can remember," she said. "...There is some anger out there as well."
The PTA has been a strong supporter of the Common Core for the past few years. It's national affiliate has received substantial funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is a key supporter of the standards nationwide.
But Ajemian said New York's rollout of the standards has been so poor that it undermines public confidence in them. That, she said, is what the PTA's new campaign is trying to rectify.
"The rushed implementation combined with excessive testing have already shaken confidence in the Common Core, and we cannot afford more confusion and discontent," she said. "... We hope that we will save the promise of this initiative."
Ajemian said the organization will lobby legislators, meet with newspaper editorial boards and do advertising to push its campaign.
Besides delaying the use of student testing for high-stakes decisions about teachers and students, the PTA wants to make testing more flexible for English language learners and students with disabilities and increase training of teachers and administrators in implementing the standards.
I read this two ways:
The Gates Foundation, which supports the NY State PTA financially, is losing confidence in how NYSED and the Board of Regents in NY State have rolled out the Common Core, the tests, the evaluation system tied to the tests and the data collection program.
You can bet the NY State PTA would not issue public statements about the incompetence of the Common Core implementation in the state if the Gates Foundation people didn't want that done.
Second, it means that the reform movement is beginning to see that the "inevitability" of their reforms is nothing of the kind and are looking for ways to save what looks to be a dying agenda.
The furor at East Setauket last night is just the latest in what is a growing movement in opposition to Common Core and many of the favored reforms of the Gates Foundation.
They're looking to save something, and it looks like they're willing to throw John King under the bus in NY State in order to do it.
In short, the state PTA is calling John King an incompetent fool, but it's the Gates Foundation really behind that statement.