Imagine the worst road trip you've ever taken, multiply that by about 25 and you might be somewhere near the frightful world NYSED Commissioner John King inhabits about now. The little appointee who can't took it on the chin again last night at Spackenkill High in Dutchess County where he was confronted, verbally bitchslapped, interrupted and generally outed as the data nerd trying to do a job that demands people skills he clearly lacks. Have a gander at this little vignette and imagine if this was a classroom observation of a teacher's interpersonal skills as well as his skills in managing an unruly group. You'll notice the rookie mistake of threatening the crowd that the show will not continue until he gets to speak. Note too that he spoke during the time allotted to parents and insisted in rebutting everyone to further reduce their speaking time. Mr. King, we regret to inform you that based on our data you are Highly Ineffective in this position.
Another irksome point in this clip is King tries to make the case that "the children of public officials are not fair grounds for debate." Well John, this isn't Rush Limbaugh calling Chelsea Clinton a dog or Meg Whitman's kids being such cretins she had to donate $30 million to Princeton to get them in the door. It's not really about your kids at all it's about the decision YOU made as the highest ranking official of NYSED to shield your own kids from the very bullshit you think the rest of our kids deserve in the Common Core. Matt Lauer told Chris Christie a while back it definitely is a fair question to ask why a guy in his position would do the same thing. King attempted to make the point that Common Core is thriving in Montessori-land. Well here's the opening paragraph from Montessori's website describing their unique curriculum :
At Montessori Unlimited, we believe education should be about more than memorization, repetition and standardized tests. We offer a completely different approach, featuring a unique, open environment that emphasizes your child’s natural interests and allows your child to set his or her own developmental pace. That’s the Montessori philosophy. That’s the philosophy we follow at Montessori Unlimited.
Hmmmm... Doesn't sound too rigory or Standardized testy or Number 2 pencilly to me. Sounds more like another Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel or Barack Obama, pushing bogus "ed reform" down our kids' and their teachers' throats while sparing their own kids all of this "rigor" and "college and career readiness" by shunting them off to private schools. In a word it's called bullshit.
Another beef I have with this data nerd cum Butt naked Emperor is the way he refers to himself as a "public official." I didn't vote for him, did you? Was there a search conducted to find the very best candidate to serve the public in this crucial position? No. He was David Steiner's flunkie who ran around behind Steiner sharpening his number 2 pencils, charging his Blackberry and laughing at all his unfunny jokes. King was also classmates in Teacher College NY ( how ironic) with none other than Grande Dame Tisch the Regent, as good a fabulously loaded neo liberal as ever hired an illegal to weed her garden. Well between Steiner whose heart was calling for the lucrative milieu of edu-profiteering and Tisch who'd love to outfit her Regents Bentley with a sharp little minority hood ornament like King, it was a deal made in hell. How this political appointee of the furthest reaches of backroom dealing gets off calling himself a public official is a question I can't answer. But by the look of these Town Hall greasefires King keeps setting off I'd safely say I am not the only one who can't answer a few questions these days. Remember to mark your calendars for October 24th. If there's anything left of him to trot onstage we will be ready to keep the party going here in B-Lo.