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Critics Use Letter to Urge Senate's Rejection of King’s Nomination for Secretary of Education

Critics Use Letter to Urge Senate's Rejection of King’s Nomination for Secretary of Education

While the Senate hearing held to consider John B. King Jr. for the nomination of Secretary of Education largely avoided asking King about his time as New York State’s Education Commissioner, some critics are urging the Senate to reject his nomination due to his work there.

"During that tenure, King led a series of highly controversial school reforms that included a new teacher evaluation system using student standardized test scores that critics say is nonsensical (for example, art teachers were evaluated by student math test scores),” said The Washington Post.

Add in a highly criticized roll-out of the Common Core Standards, and King is said by his critics to be partly responsible for the widespread opt-out movement that occurred in New York in 2015. For those unfamiliar, 20 percent of all New York’s students sat out of the state’s standardized tests that year.

One of King’s more vocal critics is 20-year-old Nikhil Goyal, an accomplished author who was on Forbes 30 Under 30 List in 2013 for his work in education.

Goyal has written a letter to the Senate with the backing of several other education experts urging the rejection of King’s nomination.

Noam Chomsky, Diane Ravitch, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, and Carol Burris are just a few names who signed the letter.

King’s “style is inflexible and he is quick to criticize the motives of those with whom he disagrees. He persistently refused to consider the desperate please of students and teachers who were reporting that the Common Core and value-added teacher evaluations were not working,” the letter, which was republished by The Washington Post, says.

“The American public deserves a Secretary of Education who will advocate for their interests, not those of testing corporations who profit from Common Core. We also deserve a Secretary who respects the importance of schools governed by communities, not by federal mandate.”

Read the full letter here. 

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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