Dear Commons Community,
Amid the controversy of the implementation of the Common Core Curriculum in New York, some parents are calling for the resignation of the Commissioner of Education, John King. After last year’s poorly planned implementation of the Common Core, King was to meet with parent groups around the state to explain the program. As reported in The Huffington Post:
“Many [parents] were enraged last week after King canceled a tour of Common Core town hall meetings — scheduled to take place across the state — after only attending one in Poughkeepsie on Oct. 10.
Videos show the town hall became boisterous, with crowds shouting at and heckling King from the audience.
One parent shouted from the audience that her child was being taught curriculum “like a little Nazi” while King’s children were “prospering in the freedom of a private Montessori school.” When the town hall was cut short, audience members shouted “Where’s our hour?” and “Where’s your representation for parents?”
The next day, the New York State PTA Facebook Page announced that King’s office decided to cancel the remaining four town hall meetings.
“While our goal was to provide an opportunity to learn and share, based on review of the initial October 10 meeting, the Commissioner concluded the outcome was not constructive for those taking the time to attend,” the post read.
On Monday, King said he would work with the Parent Teacher Association to try and plan other forums for parents. However, he said “special interest” groups at the Poughkeepsie meeting made it impossible for a constructive dialogue to take place, according to Capital New York.
Now, parent groups aligned with New York State Allies For Public Education are calling for King’s resignation, saying he “refuses to participate in the democratic process and refuses to hear the concerns of parents.” They’ve also taken issue with his insinuation that parents constitute as “special interests,” according to a press release.
The groups have called on parents, educators and concerned citizens to call and write state politicians to express their lack of confidence in the leader.”
The responsibility does not rest simply with the Commissioner but also with the NYS Board of Regents that oversees King’s department. The Board approved and defended the implementation of the Common Core even though many if not most school districts including New York City were not ready to handle it. The result was the majority of students scoring poorly on state standardized assessment tests.