New York State Commissioner John King’s office issued a statement, explaining that the parents who booed and ridiculed him were being “manipulated” by “special interests.”

Who are these “special interests” that have the power to befuddle parents about what is in the best interest of their children?

Presumably, he meant the teachers’ union. Maybe he forgot that the AFT and NEA are big supporters of the Common Core.

So, dear reader, who or what are the “special interests” that “dominated” the discussion and caused parents to speak out against Commissioner King?

Does he think that parents are so easily manipulated? Does he think they admire the state for creating a Common Core test so long and so rigorous that most of their children failed?

Earth to John King: You have a real problem, and it was not created by “special interests.”

In the future, please explain who these “special interests” are, who is funding them, and exactly how they manage to manipulate the parents of New York state.

Please, sir, continue with your meetings. Next time, listen to the parents, don’t lecture them.

Try it.


Below is a statement from Commissioner John B. King, Jr.:

“I was looking forward to engaging in a dialogue with parents across the state.  I was eagerly anticipating answering questions from parents about the Common Core and other reforms we’re moving ahead with in New York State.  Unfortunately, the forums sponsored by the New York State PTA have been co-opted by special interests whose stated goal is to “dominate” the questions and manipulate the forum.

“The disruptions caused by the special interests have deprived parents of the opportunity to listen, ask questions and offer comments.  Essentially, dialogue has been denied.

“In light of the clear intention of these special interest groups to continue to manipulate the forum, the PTA-sponsored events scheduled have been suspended.  My office will continue to work with PTA to find the appropriate opportunities to engage in a real, productive dialogue with parents about our students and their education.

“Parents don’t deserve to be dominated and manipulated.”


State education chief suspends LI Town Hall meeting

Published: October 12, 2013 10:48 PM

Photo credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan | Dr. John B. King, Jr., State education commissioner, speaks at an event at Hofstra University. (Feb. 2, 2012)

New York’s education commissioner said Saturday he had called off Long Island’s only Town Hall meeting on the Common Core curriculum and state testing after “special interests” hijacked the first such forum.


The meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday in Garden City and was sponsored by the state PTA.


Commissioner John B. King Jr. also put on hold the other three Town Hall meetings planned across the state, which for the first time would have let parents and teachers ask him about testing and the Common Core.


Hundreds of people attended a pair of at times adversarial and boisterous forums earlier this month — a debut Town Hall in Poughkeepsie in the Hudson Valley and an event in Whitesboro, near Utica.


King, in a statement, said he had been looking forward to speaking with parents.


“The disruptions caused by the ‘special interests’ have deprived parents of the opportunity to listen, ask questions and offer comments,” he said. “Essentially, dialogue has been denied.”


Dennis Tompkins, a King spokesman, declined to identify the special interests.


Carl Korn, the spokesman for New York State United Teachers, said, “Parents and teachers are not special interests.”


Noting that a recent Common Core forum in Buffalo was heavily attended, Korn said: “The fact that thousands of parents have shown up about testing in different corners of the state suggests a great deal of frustration that testing has come in front of instruction and the focus, the parents and teachers agree, should be on teaching and learning, not testing.”


King and the state PTA, which said the Poughkeepsie forum failed to “serve the intended purpose,” pledged to find other ways to allow parents to express their views.


Port Jefferson resident Ali Gordon, 41, a trustee on the Comsewogue Board of Education, criticized King, saying he was ducking a town hall she and “many, many others” planned to attend.


“It’s very disappointing to see the leader of our state Education Department essentially hide from parents and teachers who are so directly affected by the decisions that he makes and the rushed implementation of the Common Core in New York State,” she said.


National and state education leaders predict the phase-in of Common Core standards will enhance quality of classroom lessons by encouraging deeper analysis. But many parents and students say the state’s increased emphasis on testing has meant more classroom time devoted to filling in bubble sheets and other test drills.


The Education Department released data Aug. 7 showing that more than 60 percent of students in grades 3-8 in Nassau and Suffolk scored below proficiency on the tests, nearly double from the previous year.