Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, September 30, 2012

NYSED Commissioner King: An Education Reform Hypocrite

NYSED Commissioner John King is forcing students to take more Pearson field tests this October in addition to the usual round of Pearson field tests students are slated to take in the spring.

A parent wrote a letter to the Albany Times Union to say that he had called NYSED to see if there was an opt-out clause from the field testing.

He was told by a deputy education commissioner that there was not.

He goes on to write:

This bothers me as an educator and as a parent of four children.

Perhaps I will take the lead of Dr. John King, state education commissioner, whose children won't be in a school where this field testing will occur because they go to private school. Maybe I'll keep my children home.

In a recent commentary by Dr. King ("Give students their moment," Sept. 5), he writes of the so-called "education reform agenda" including teacher evaluations and the Common Core Standards: "These changes will be felt in every classroom in the state." This statement is not true, as private schools are not subject to these mandates and are therefore exempt. Besides the obvious hypocrisy, it seems patently unethical to not allow an "opt out" clause for the field tests being foisted upon students attending public schools.

Commissioner John King is the perfect man to lead the NYSED through its reform agenda.

Just like so many others in the corporate education reform movement - from Barack Obama to Rahm Emanuel to Bill Gates to Arnie Duncan - King loves to pontificate about how he is making the public schools that Other People's Children (OPC's) attend better.

How is he doing this?

By forcing standardized testing in every grade in every subject, K-12, by narrowing the curricula and spending enormous amounts of time, money and effort on standardized tests, by tying teacher evaluations and school closures to the test scores and by stealing money from the classroom in order to hand it to the tech, test and education consultants.

Meanwhile, the school that King sends his kids to - a private Montessori school - doesn't do any of these things.

Oh, no - what's good for Other People's Children is NOT good enough for John King's little darlings.

They deserve small class sizes, a rich, diverse curriculum, excellent facilities and a school not run on test-based FEAR.

King doesn't have to worry about an opt-out clause for his own kids and the Pearson field tests because his kids aren't taking them.

If the so-called reforms that King is pushing on the rest of the state are so good, why doesn't he subject his OWN children to them?

Oh, right - it's because

a) He's full of shit that the NYSED/Regents reform agenda is going to "give students their moment" and he knows it and

b) Because he's a hypocrite.


  1. He appropriately credits a dynamic teacher with inspiring him yet aids the current culture of ed reform that - let's be honest - would take away dynamics due to more test prep.
    I along with countless other teachers am dynamic in the classroom but once it becomes official and my students test results dictate if I pay my mortgage and feed my children I can't help but think I would become less dynamic due to being forced to focus more on the details of a standardized test that dictates my future.
    He spent a mere three years as a teacher yet is the "top dog" in this state as far as education goes - two of those years in a charter where true discipline codes exist yet he knows full well that the same codes of behavior is NOT backed up by the many districts in this state the way there were for him at the charter.
    The guy is Ivy League educated yet is clueless to the common sense idea that as Da Vinci once stated:" The supreme misfortune is when theory outstrips performance."
    The guy most likely, as many who have left the classroom for higher positions (APs, Principals, Superintendents etc.)still thinks of himself as an educator. I've had some personally tell me this once a teacher always a teacher crap. I shout BS on that - I always have. Get back in the classroom, get chalk on your pants and shirt, wait in line with the rest of the students at the water fountain. Play the many parts a teacher does within a day for more than just three years. I can go on and on - any teacher reading this knows the deal.
    As a New Yorker who grew up "in the neighborhoods," I'd like to know specifically Mr. King what neighborhood did you grow up in that taught you to be such a hypocrite and treat and expect from others what you did not experience or give your own children - Not the neighborhoods I grew up in - I would have gotten my ass kicked.

  2. Well said, anon.

    And that Da Vinci quote is emblematic of every corporate education reform I can think of - from VAM to high stakes accountability to online schooling to blended learning to merit pay to - well, you get the idea.

    1. Yes I do RBE. Keep up the great work.

  3. Yes, and now we have Exxon Mobil on network TV tooting the horn of the Common Core reform. Isn't this kind of like putting the fox in the hen house, saying he's there to benefit the hens? I hope the irony doesn't pass anyone with a brain..

  4. Also been true that there are various such ideas which has got certain changes by the time, and that we to move our own to such attributes.