NYS Education Commissioner John King Stepping Down

Commissioner John King is resigning his position in New York after the New Year in order to be appointed to a federal education position.  John King will not be Deputy Secretary as originally reported but will be a ‘senior advisor’ to Arnie Duncan which does not require Senate confirmation.

While I have not been personally happy about the job Commissioner King has done in New York, I do not view this announcement as good news because even though he will be gone from New York State, I would NEVER wish him upon the entire country!  His position on the important issues of Common Core and testing is the exact opposite of what I believe we need.  “Like Duncan, King is a strong advocate for Common Core, high-stakes testing, and value-added-modeling (judging teachers by student test scores).”   (Diane Ravitch)

The head of the Board of Regents Merryl Tisch is quoted as saying the following about John King and his time as Commissioner of Education in New York State.

“John King has been a remarkable leader in a time of true reform,” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said. “He spent every moment working to open the doors of opportunity for all our students – regardless of their race, or zip code, or their immigration status.

“John has transformed teaching and learning, raising the bar for students and helping them clear that bar. In classrooms all across the state, teachers and students are rising to the challenge of higher standards. The positive impact of John King’s work in New York will be felt for generations. We’ll miss his wisdom, his calm leadership and his remarkable courage. But New York’s loss is the country’s gain. He’ll be a powerful force for educational opportunity in Washington.”

NYS Education Commissioner John King Stepping Down Daily News

Many parents, including myself, do not agree with Regent Tisch as you will see in the video “Goodbye Commissioner King – Medley to an Educational Failure” compiled today by videographer Mert Melfa after hearing the news that Commissioner King will be stepping down from his position in New York.  I was personally in attendance at the first meeting in the video (the one at Spackenkill High School in October 2013).


This statement from the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) today also seems rather at odds with Regent Tisch’s statement.

NYSUT has disagreed sharply and publicly with the commissioner on many issues. The disconnect between the commissioner’s vision and what parents, educators and students want for their public education system became so great, NYSUT voted ‘no confidence’ in Commissioner King last spring and called for his resignation.

NYSUT Statement on the resignation of Education Commissioner John King December 10, 2014

We will need to be paying attention to what John King is doing in Washington D.C. as well as contacting the New York State Board of Regents to ensure that they appoint a highly-qualified Commissioner of Education who will indeed listen to the parents, educators and students of New York regarding what we want for our public education system.

The Board of Regents is meeting next week December 15-16, 2014 in Albany.  For those who live in the Kingston City School District and/or Ulster County, our Regent member is Regent Finn.  Her contact information is RegentFinn@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-5889.