New York Opt Out Parents Resistance Teacher Evaluations U.S. Department of Education

Carol Burris: Who Is John King and Why Was His Tenure in New York So Stormy and Controversial?

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Carol Burris, who is now the executive director of the Network for Public Education, spent decades as a teacher and an administrator. She retired last year as principal of South Side High School in Rockville Center, New York. She helped to ignite the “principals’ revolt” against the state’s adoption of a test-based teacher and principal evaluation system; she and another Long Island principal, Sean Feeney, drafted a letter of protest that was eventually signed by nearly 5,000 principals across the state, about 40% of the total.

 

In this post, Burris explains what happened during John King’s time as State Commissioner of Education in New York, and how he alienated parents, teachers, and administrators. King was recently nominated by President Obama to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education.

 

Listening to others–especially parents and teachers–is not his strong point. More than anyone else, Duncan managed to ignite the massive opt out movement in New York last spring. He deserves credit for getting parents so riled up that one of every five eligible students refused the state tests, that is, about 220,000 children in grades 3 through 8.

 

Based on his record in New York, Burris predicts that we can expect more of the same from the Department of Education…or worse.

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