|
|
|
Wayne Post
  • OUR VIEW: Educational leader should be held accountable

    • email print
      Comment
  • New York state Education Commissioner John King Jr. makes $212,500 a year. Top executives in private industry are paid such salaries because they have to make difficult decisions and answer tough questions from shareholders.
    But King has abdicated his responsibilities to his shareholders — you — by slamming the door in the public’s face because he doesn’t like mounting criticism over Common Core standards.
    Last Friday, King suspended four public forums because the going got tough at the first session held Thursday in Poughkeepsie. He told Gannett News Service in Albany that he felt special interest groups were hijacking the forum, designed to engage in “real, productive dialogue with parents about our students and their education.”
    King doesn’t believe Common Core is a key part of that discussion? And who are the “special interest” groups — parents whose “special interests” happen to be their kids? Really?
    Don’t let the commissioner off the hook. Maybe the new Common Core standards are taking front-and-center at public discussions because they’re a key concern. King got flak over Common Core in Central New York last week, too, in a town hall meeting on education — unrelated to the forums. The new standards are creating unprecedented angst throughout the education spectrum — among school administrators, teachers, parents and students. Right or wrong, there are serious problems that must be addressed, and the state Education Department has a responsibility to address them. Publicly.
    The buck stops at King’s desk. If he’s not willing to talk to you, talk to him. Here’s how: Message his Twitter account, @JohnKingNYSED; email him: jking@mail.nysed.gov; Phone: (518) 474-1201. That’s the state Education Department’s communications line. Leave a message for King. Or call Senate Education Chairman John Flanagan at (518) 455-2071. Write: John King, Commissioner, State Education Department 89 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12234.
    King says his office will continue to work with the state PTA to find the appropriate opportunities to establish dialogue with parents about their children. The best opportunity is via public dialogue, as planned. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. That somebody should be the state commissioner of education.

        calendar