Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Commissioner John King Throws Gasoline Onto The Common Core/inBloom/Endless Testing Bonfire

The only thing worse that NYSED Commissioner John King could have done after his meltdown in Poughkeepsie the other night, where he threatened to take his microphone and lectern and go on home if the audience didn't sit quietly and let him pontificate about the wonders of Common Core, Endless Testing and the inBloom data base, was to cancel the remaining meetings with parents across the state.

One major criticism King and NYSED, along with Merryl Tisch and the Board of Regents, have been taking over their education reform agenda is how they have rammed it down the throats of students, parents and teachers in the state without taking into consideration any of the cares or concerns of the other stakeholders.

By canceling the remaining PTA-sponsored town hall meetings with the public, King reinforces the meme that SED officials are out of touch and do not care one whit what anyone outside of their own offices or the Gates Foundation thinks about their education policies.

The smart move would have been to take the verbal beating in Poughkeepsie, take the verbal beatings elsewhere, acknowledge some of the concerns and say "Oh, we'll conduct a study over that..." or something to that effect and just keep on keeping on like they've been doing.

But Commissioner King is not a smart man, certainly not politically at any rate, because he did the absolute worst thing possible in these circumstances - he took his microphone and lectern and went back to Albany in a huff, canceling the rest of the town hall meetings and underscoring in one feckless act how little he cares about what the public thinks and how little he can handle criticism or challenge.

As Leonie Haimson put it in this post:

These cancellations have  provoked even more anger and resentment, with parents saying that while King won't allow their schools or children to opt out of the Common Core, standardized testing or data sharing with vendors, he is opting out of an important dialogue with parents.

Leonie says there is one meeting that was not sponsored by the PTA that King is still slated to attend - October 15 in Oyster Bay, co-sponsored by Senator Marcellino.

If King was a smart man, an astute politician, he would attend that meeting and make believe he actually cared what the attendees were telling him there rather than act as he did in Poughkeepsie and get all defensive and snooty about things.

He can take some of the fuel off the Common Core/inBloom/Endless Testing Bonfire by acting like most politicians and making believe he cares what people think and feel about these issues rather than showing how little cares about what the public thinks or feels about them.

In other words, he would fake it.

Not that faking that he cares when he really doesn't would put an end to the criticism and the fight SED and the Regents are going to takeover their education reform agenda.

It won't - not with parents in the affluent suburbs up in arms over the agenda.

But it certainly would put a little bit of a damper on the tumult and fury King set off with his imperious act in Poughkeepsie the other night.

We'll see if he even shows up to October 15 meeting and then, if he does, how he handles criticism.

As of now, King is making things worse for himself and his compatriots in reform at SED and the Board of Regents.

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