Wednesday, October 30, 2013

John King Seeing a Consensus, Not Divisiveness

In a much shared and re-posted piece from Fred Fred  LeBrun  in the Albany Times Union came the following prose gem : There is no individual in government in New York who has less of the public's trust than the state education commissioner. The same low opinion dogs the State Education Department for its colossal failure to properly roll out the Common Core curriculum, after a hideous and prolonged bout of excessive high-stakes testing imposed on school districts. The anger and frustration among teachers and parents statewide over the botched implementation is thunderous, as King himself discovered when he kicked off a statewide listening tour in Poughkeepsie recently. A gathering in Albany last week was more civil, but no less critical.

Owch. The guy has no cred as we say on the corner. And what does Regent Gepetto's little wooden boy Spinocchio do the very next day but hop a gypsy caravan to Syracuse and add another module or three to his ever expanding proboscis. Pressed on Common Core by reporters who are Smelling blood in the water, King essentially employed yet another Pee Wee Hermann defense, mimicking the moment after tumbling from his bike Pee Wee springs to his feet dusting off and proclaims "I meant to do that" when he made the following remark with no hint of irony and a presumably straight face :

 Syracuse -- In a visit to Syracuse today, New York Education Commissioner John King said he sees more consensus Mthan division around the state's implementation of the Common Core standards, teacher evaluations and other issues.

"I don't see it as a particularly divisive moment," he told The Post-Standard at the opening of WCNY's new headquarters on West Fayette Street. "I actually think what is most striking is the degree of consensus we see as a country around where we need to take education."
He doesn't see 70 some speakers in a row at Port Chester hammering his Common Core and his leadership as divisive. He didn't see parents and teachers at Spackenkill yelling Sit Down and Shut Up! As he tried to bogart their time to speak as divisive. He doesn't see it that way and he doesn't hear a thing anyone is telling hm even though this little dog and pony show is ironically called a "Listening Tour."

 Instead of acknowledging the asskicking he's deservedly endured at every stop of this asinine tour, King tries to wave his rhetorical wand over the whole mess saying Oh, look what I found behind your ear -- a nationwide consensus. Now in four years of high school with the Brown Franciscan Friars I learned rhetoric and logic and more rhetoric.  If you haven't been schooled as I have you might miss the stubtle rhetorical nuance King is employing here. When he tries to distract us from the Sisyphean greasefire he's  battling here in N.Y.  with some dopey generalization that the rest of the country is agog over the Common Core he is using the ancient Hibernian rhetorical ploy more commonly known as "bullshitting."

 Really John? Are they crazy bout da Core from Brooklyn to Compton? Is everybody doing it, pickin it and chewin it? Really? Or are they just not up to speed with us in New York because they don't have a trigger happy governor who's flipping over every rock he can find in the political minefield in the hope that it will get him to The White House? Thanks to Sheriff Andy and his Dowager Empress Tisch we are all bobbing in the Common Core's deep end with no help in sight unless enough parents and teachers can force enough legislators to drain the pool. And until then we will get John King, listening, and listening and listening but he won't hear a word anyone says.

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