Commissioner John King on Common Core and Equality

Friday, May 16, 2014

Standardized test (dieselbug2007/flickr)

John King, New York State Education Commissioner and President of the University of the State of New York, argues that Common Core opponents are standing in the way of achieving racial equality in our schools.


John King

Comments [13]

Stacy from Westchester

Wow, John King sure knows how to stick to his talking points! Too bad we're stuck with this guy instead of someone who actually cares about children. Brian Lehrer wasn't tough enough with him.

May. 20 2014 05:42 PM
Jay H. Broad from Jericho, New York

Common Core has two problems that Dr. King refuses to recognize.
One. The testing program is disturbingly poor The tests are invalid, not able to really test how much students have learned, what remedial methods can be used to help them. They are aimed only to assess a minimal amount that is supposed to be able to develop skills needed to achieve in a Higher Education Academic program. Using such tests to evaluate students and teachers is ludicrous. Albert Einstein said, "Not every thing that counts can be counted, not every thing that can be counted counts".
Two. Common Core ignores that fact that students are are really diverse. Our public schools must educate all the students. All students need to be educated to live and thrive in the world we live in today and in the future. The need to be exposed to a very diverse curriculum, including Art, Music, social responsibilities of citizenship. We must NOT use a one size fits all approach. Students should be prepared to be productive citizens, able to earn a living, participate in their communities. Free public schools must teach all, regardless of their talents or abilities to achieve. That is what our country has stood for since the beginning.

May. 16 2014 06:34 PM
Chris from Manhattan

What about the idea of a general fund? If philanthropists want to donate, put it into a general fund, that BOE, or appointed committee, delegates as needed. Same model might apply in NYC parks conservancy funding as well.

May. 16 2014 05:55 PM
avincie from New York, NY

"A commitment to philanthropy on the part of folks in the hedge fund community..." - I think I just threw up in my mouth. Since when did hedge fund people want anything to do with the public good? I think John King needs to go back to school, because he clearly doesn't understand the meaning of complex words.

May. 16 2014 12:24 PM

What evidence would suggest that the Common Core has been successful? The supporters of this movement have never clearly responded to this question. The testing mania phenomenon is promoted by test preparation companies for the goal of more profits not to improve learning.

May. 16 2014 10:26 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

The reason why there is so much hedge fund money filtering into the charter school system is because the wealthy are actively trying to dismantle public education altogether. Once that is done, there is a pretty penny to be made off of our kids. If all kids have to go to school until the age of 16, imagine the money to be made. Hedge fund money doesn't go into anything for altruistic reasons. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deeply ignorant of free market values.

As for the common core issue: it's sad that our children are so poorly educated that they continue to score below average across the board in all of the basic subjects. But I don't think this is unintended. When America wants to do something, (for example, bomb a country into oblivion) we usually do it. If we aren't educating our children, it's because we don't really want to. Everyone knows that a populace that is ignorant will be easier to manipulate. They will also be more likely to shop for junk they don't need with money they don't have. And that is exactly the citizens we have. So I have to think that if this is the society we have, it's because enough people in power want it this way. Perhaps we should all stop being in denial and look at what this fact says about us and what we really value.

May. 16 2014 10:18 AM

All that testing is meant only to rout out/punish "bad teachers"

May. 16 2014 10:16 AM
Estelle from Brooklyn

Mayor Bloomberg often said he wanted to fire half the NYC teachers and replace them with effective teachers. My questions are: Where are those effective teachers? Why aren't they already teaching in NYC? Why do so many teachers leave the system within two or three years?

May. 16 2014 10:15 AM
BK from Hoboken

Schools are de facto segregated already in many areas including many parts of NYC. Charter schools may end up not well interested, but that is up to the parents. If a parent doesn't take the time to research a school and apply to a charter, the public and government can't do anything about that. If a charter school student population therefore ends up self-selected even though admission is random and race blind, there is nothing more that the government should do. Should we taxpayers have to pay for BOE employees to go to people's homes and smack the parents upside the head? People need to stop complaining and do their work to get their kids the best education they can get, which include research and charter applications.

May. 16 2014 10:15 AM

Here's another area where our gubernatorial candidates part ways. Cuomo, the Democrat, has been a leader in the battle to build affordable housing -- a key to making for more diverse communities and, at once, providing more educational opportunity for minorities. Astorino, the Republican, has resisted efforts by HUD to further fair housing opportunity in the suburbs, in part by dismantling, or challenging, exclusionary zoning. How does this cost city residents? It makes it that much harder to move into those suburban communities with superior schools.

May. 16 2014 10:15 AM
Bob from Huntington

Mr. King:

Why are ESL students who speak little or no English expected to take common core exams that are entirely in English? Furthermore, their teachers are then evaluated on the basis of their scores which are inevitably very bad compared to native English speaking students.

May. 16 2014 10:14 AM

The battle of common core is a small border skirmish in the war on science.

May. 16 2014 10:08 AM
Rachel from Sunset Park

I recently read the article about Newark in The New Yorker. I kept thinking that you can't fix schools until you fix poverty. What is Mr. Kings thoughts on that?

May. 16 2014 10:06 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.