Mike Klonsky writes tonight about John King’s efforts to circumvent the intent of the ESSA law and restore the punishments of NCLB.

Governor Jerry Brown wants to use multiple measures to judge schools, and King does not approve. He wants to impose an A-F letter grade, based primarily on test scores, a simplistic idea invented by Jeb Bush.

The schools that suffer most are those that enroll poor children and children of color.

“King claims it has to be a “simple” rating system so that parents can understand it. He thinks parents are too stupid to understand that there’s more than one way to tell how their schools and their children are doing. His approach is what led to the mass parent opt-out revolt in N.Y. under his administration.

“This is the same line we heard under Bush’s No Child Left Behind. It turned out that NCLB testing madness was just another form of social reproduction. Or more simply put, a way of replicating and enforcing existing inequalities by punishing schools and districts with the neediest kids. Testing mania only reinforced school segregation and hurt poor kids and children of color the most.

“Not to mention the discredited role of the use of standardized tests as a valid measure when it comes to evaluating teachers or schools.”

King claims he is merely enforcing the law, but Senator Lamar Alexander (who led the writing of the law) doesn’t agree with him.

King is trying to assert power he does not have. Senator Alexander is not going to let him get away with it. In a stand-off between a lame-duck Secretary of Education and the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, my money is on the Senator.