Share this article

print logo

Letter: King is an awful choice for education secretary

King is an awful choice for education secretary

The News’ glowing editorial approving John B. King as education secretary was an example of irony. Instead of endorsing excellence, as the editorial claimed, the U.S. Senate endorsed a man who exemplifies mediocrity at best and inflexibility and lack of educational prudence at worst. King was a teacher for only three years, too short a time to develop much classroom experience and best educational practices. While King claims he will serve all children, especially the disadvantaged, he demonstrated that he was not capable of serving even the average student while New York State education commissioner.

King wasn’t open to criticism. He was autocratic. He dismissed concerns over Common Core. He considered parents and teachers “special interest” groups. King scheduled forums to listen to community concerns about the changes implemented but he canceled many of the meetings, restricted those who could attend and ignored complaints that were aired. Common Core was poorly thought out. Standardized tests were too long, not age appropriate and confusing. Children were literally getting sick and crying over these exams.

King continued to promote his changes even when it was pointed out to him that there were errors. For example, when the School Administrators Association made him aware of errors in the teacher evaluation system, King quietly fixed it but only for New York City. Because he didn’t publicly acknowledge there were problems with the evaluation, teachers outside of New York City were being judged by a flawed system.

King’s lack of leadership skills, his unwillingness to change when confronted with errors and his inability to implement sound educational practices makes him a poor choice as education secretary. The Senate failed its constituents miserably.

Elinor Weiss

East Amherst