Education Commissioner John King should resign immediately. His rigidity makes him unsuited for the position of Education Commissioner.
For quite some time, he has closed off all meaningful conversation with parents, educators, administrators, and elected officials who have highlighted serious deficiencies in State Education Department policies. He has exhibited a conscious disregard for their concerns. He should be listening, educating where criticisms are unfounded and adopting changes where criticisms are valid.
Recent events illustrate the problem. After scheduling a series of public discussions, Commissioner King abruptly canceled them when he lost control of the first one. Attendees openly resisted his attempt to convert the meeting into a lecture on the righteousness of his policies and roundly bashed those policies as counterproductive to educating children.
NYSED recently announced a new series of forums. This is welcome but should supplement not substitute for Commissioner King’s resignation. The problem is not cancellation of a series of meetings – it’s Commissioner King’s attitude.
Demonstrating its insensitivity to the real problem, NYSED is now defensively attacking anyone who dares to criticize their policies.
King intentionally mischaracterizes the criticism of his approach and policies
solely as opposition to Common Core. In reality, his critics cite his botched implementation
of Common Core, his misappropriation of confidential student records and his
aversion to input before adopting NYSED policies.