A parent in Poughkeepsie writes about the infamous meeting where John King lectured for 1 hour and 40 minutes and was then hooted by parents and teachers:


On October 10, 2013, SED Commissioner John King spoke at the Spackenkill School District in Poughkeepsie, NY.  This was the first of several forums on the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) that NYS adopted on July 19, 2010. 

It has been widely seen in social media that Dr. King’s presentation was not well received by the audience.  However, his perception of what transpired is not shared by those in the audience.  He is quoted in Newsday as saying, “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.”

Au contraire.  If you take the time to watch the video (http://youtu.be/swWm9b_LUAU), you will see that Dr. King dominates the first hour and 40 minutes.  At that point, audience members were allowed to speak for a whopping 23 minutes.  Between speakers, Dr. King was defensive and tried to control the “dialogue”.  A dialogue is supposed to be a two-way conversation where both sides speak and are listened to.  The audience did their part by listening to him.  King failed to do his part.

What “special interests” is he talking about anyway?  Parents and teachers are not special interests.  Pearson, inBloom, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, et al, are special interests and their interests are money, not children.  He tries to depict the audience as having been infiltrated by an angry mob with an agenda.  If you take the time to watch the video, you will see that the entire audience was filled with parents and teachers who have legitimate concerns for their children.  Their frustration and yes, anger, were delivered to the man it belongs to. 

Some have expressed concern about this anger – that it may come across as unseemly or unprofessional.  I say that their anger can be defined as “righteous anger”.  In John 2:13-22, Jesus shows his righteous anger toward the “money-changers” doing work in his Father’s home.  This is the way many of those adversely affected by the reform movement feel.  The work we do is sacred.  What could be more sacred than working with children?  In Matthew 18:6, Jesus talks about the special care given to children; woe to those who would harm one hair on their heads.

The parents in the audience were angry, very angry.  It is justified and righteous.  Dr. King has harmed a lot of children with his dictates and mandates.  He has aligned himself with the “money changers” and they have assembled themselves in one of our sacred places – our schools.  He has violated a trust that we have in education and he needs to suffer the consequences.

Dr. King is a failure and if he were evaluated with one of the tools in which we evaluate our teachers, he would rate as “ineffective”.  Please join the many parents from across the state who will be demanding King’s resignation this week.  Please call Governor Cuomo’s office (518-474-8390) and demand his resignation.  Take back the schools from the corporations and give them back to our teachers and students.  They deserve it.