Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Shooting the Messenger . . .

NYS Education Commissioner John King must resign . . . at least that is the cry from many parents and teachers and the group "New York State Allies for Public Education" after Dr. King cancelled all of the remaining public forums dealing with the "Common Core" following the one marked by controversy in Poughkeepsie.

While the groundswell may make those calling for the Commissioner's resignation feel a sense of collective power, especially in light of the Commissioner's poor judgement in cancelling the forums, it is doubtful that it will change anything. Dr. King is a minion. At best, Dr. King will simply be replaced with someone else who pushes the same agenda, but with more finesse.  Dr. King may be the face of Common Core in New York, but he did not invent it and did not make it a requirement in New York's schools.

Give your thank-yous to the Board of Regents who "committed" the state to Common Core in January 2010! Also thank the Obama and Cuomo administrations for the "Race to the Top" in which Common Core is the centerpiece.

The Federal grant money is in the State bag and the Common Core is the string attached.

Focus on ridding the State of the Common Core, rather than the Commissioner.

Consider replacing it with the approach taken by "Core Knowledge,"  which is closer to the style of education in the past.   While this, too, has its critics, the approach has already worked, creating the most prosperous society the world had ever seen. The debate will then be over what "knowledge" will be transmitted to the next generation . . .  but at least it will be out there on the table for all to see, instead flying in under the radar of "performance" standards.


Mango Man said...


Commissioner King must RESIGN! Yes, he is a "minion" but he too, is a product of a generation of inept individuals. In short, he simply has NO people skills!

Dave said...

I've never been too awfully impressed by New York's Board of Regents. Not having followed them lately, I did a quick scan of who they are today. There are too many to cover here. You can go to http://www.regents.nysed.gov/members/ and click on their portraits.
But here's a taste. Other than a long career as a board member of one organizaion or another, Chancellor Merryl H.Tisch's professional education experience seems to consist of having been a first grade teacher in Jewish schools in New York City. Vice Chancellor Bottar taught high school social studies and then became a lawyer. Ditto a career as a board member here and there. Robert M. Bennett was a United Way executive and received many awards. James C. Dawson taught Geology at Plattsburgh State. Another is a speech pathologist, another a podiatrist, etc. I wouldn't demean their many accomplishments, but frankly every now and then I'd like to see a cigar-chewing industrialist on these boards, a realist who talks about the rubber meeting the road and let's beat the crap out of the competition. Someone capable of saying things like, "tell that dick head who went to Poughkeepsie to haul his butt back here, get his act together and give the customers what they really want!"

mango man said...

Touche, Dave!!!