As John King dutifully carries his “listening tour” to a dozen localities in New York state, touting the virtues of Common Core and high-stakes testing, he is running into a problem: No one likes what he is selling.
However, as the report below indicates, he doesn’t care. He listens without hearing. It doesn’t matter what parents and educators say. His mind is made up. He is going through the motions.
This reader writes:
56/57 people spoke at the Portchester Middle School, including numerous superintendents, teachers, parents and one student. Many articulate, passionate variations of same theme: Not research based; hurting children; lowering curriculum standards; hurting teachers and administrators. Seemed like standing room only. King’s only response: we are going forward with CCSS. We heard you. (This is paraprasing). A lot of face saving on their part. After hearing person after person speak about how children had been harmed, Chancellor Tisch looked bored, and all Comissioner King (with all his three years teaching experience in charter schools) could say was basically, “We will move forward with this and we’ll be committed to high standards.” Not an “I’m sorry children have been hurt. I’m sorry teachers have had to work overtime. I’m sorry the curriculum was delivered to teachers the day before school began.” Not, “I can see we’ve made some mistakes and I’ll make sure that I include your points in our next discussion.” Were we shocked? No. Just what we expected and feared. Our hope: He will hear the same message in the next 13 (?) meetings. My political science spouse said, “you need to tell people to focus on the legislators who attend these meetings: Let them know their job is on the line with your vote. King & Tisch feel quite secure in their jobs. Make sure the legislators don’t feel the same security. Then maybe you’ll make the changes that need to be made. My note: make sure you organize. Get the people out.