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US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Steps Down – New Yorkers Declare John King No Better
The announcement of John King to replace Arne Duncan as US Education Secretary is bad news for the nation, according to NYS Allies for Public Education, a coalition of more than 50 parent and educator groups throughout the state.
“Throughout his term in New York, John King was notorious for his complete disconnect from parents, teachers, and school officials. His blatant disregard for concerned parents and educators fueled opt outs to historic numbers. Our only hope is that this bizarre move by the White House will have the same effect across the country, spreading the Opt Out movement to every corner of the nation,” said Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out.
“Former NYS Commissioner of Education John King helped create an educational disaster for New York and our children are still feeling the devastating effects,” said Eric Mihelbergel, Erie County public school parent and co-founder of NYSAPE.
“John King was relentless in pushing the inappropriate Common Core standards, flawed curriculum, defective exams, and an invalid teacher evaluation system on our schools, all of which caused more than 200,000 parents to opt out of the state exams last spring,” said Lisa Rudley, Westchester County public school parent.
“King was a catastrophe as New York’s Education Commissioner. Throughout his administration, his policies were on a constant collision course with parents, teachers and good sense,” said Bianca Tanis, Ulster County public school parent and teacher.
Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, and co-chair of the Parent Coalition to Protect Student Privacy explained, “John King stubbornly refused to listen to concerns of parents, Superintendents, and legislators on the need to protect student privacy, and under his leadership, New York was the only state in the country in which it took an act of the Legislature to compel the state to pull out of inBloom.”
Marla Kilfoyle, a teacher and public school parent on Long Island, pointed out: “King left in disgrace in December 2014, with no political capital remaining and few supporters left. A year before the state’s teachers voted ‘no confidence’ in him and called for his removal by the Board of Regents.”
“The fact that Obama would choose to double-down on the test-driven agenda that King espoused, when polls show voters rejecting these policies in increasing numbers, indicates just how unwilling this administration has been to acknowledge the depth of parents’ opposition to Common Core and high-stakes testing,” said Nancy Cauthen, NYC parent from Change the Stakes.
Jessica McNair, Oneida County public school parent and educator concluded, “This new distressing development makes it even more important that NCLB must be revamped as soon as possible by Congress to take power out of the hands of the Department of Education. Otherwise, John King will continue to wreak damage on our public school children and their schools.”