Andy Smarick of Bellwether Education Partners noted that King is one of many education reform-oriented state chiefs to step down, like New Jersey's Chris Cerf, Tony Bennett of Indiana and Florida and most recently, Tennessee's Kevin Huffman. "He ... helped define this era of tougher standards, common assessments, rigorous educator evaluations, and new state-level accountability systems," Smarick said. "Their departures seem to be signaling the end of this period of bold state chiefs and major state-level reforms. If other states are a guide, we should expect King's replacement to be a non-controversial, known commodity in New York, possibly a current district superintendent."
- "Increasingly, it appears that today's governors won't be hiring a new wave of prominent national reform figures to serve as state chiefs," Smarick added. "I'm concerned we're entering a period of reform retrenchment: The battles over Common Core, new tests, tenure reform, and more may have left today's governors with little appetite for a new round of K-12 fights."
I'm pretty sure that, given Governor Cuomo's promise to "break" the public school "monopoly" through charter school expansions and ever-more "rigorous" teacher evaluations tied to testing and Regents Chancellor Tisch's concurrence that she wants to see an "aggressive" expansion of charters in the state, we'll see a replacement for King who is as reformy as King was.
Quite frankly, I think King was pushed for the ineptitude he has shown over the Common Core roll-out and the tone deafness he has displayed in dealing with public criticism.
The last straw was when King's NYSED granted a charter school to a con artist named "Dr" Ted Morris Jr. who had lied about his credentials and work experience during the application process.
Chancellor Tisch didn't name King in her deflection when she said it wasn't her fault, but she prominently did name King's NYSED in that statement of her own defense.
So King's out less because of his reforminess (or notoriety for it) and more for the spectacular public failures he has had over the last year with Common Core (which Cuomo blamed him for), parent engagement (think Poughkeepsie) and the "Dr" Ted Morris Jr. fiasco (charter school to con man, NYSED refuses to take responsibility for the mess.)
They'll look to replace King with somebody who's on board the Reformy Express, they simply wanted to clear the decks of King and start fresh.
The new NYSED Commissioner may not be as prominent a reformer as John King was, but you can bet Cuomo and Tisch are not going to look for anybody who isn't on board with their "Break The Public School Monopoly" agenda.