Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Naison Calls for John King's Removal

We've had 3 DUD NYSTATE Ed Comms in a row since 1995. Time to move on.

Dear Speaker Silver and Assembly Member Nolan

    It is time to remove John King  Education Commissioner of the State of New York. Commissioner King purposely decided to score state tests in such a way as to insure that the majority of the students in the state failed. The result was collective humiliation- of ELL students, of special needs students, of students living in poverty- and intimidation of the state's teachers, who future careers will be determined by these scores. The test results were a conscious, malicious "set up"-- and a power grab- by the Commissioner to close more schools, remove more school boards, and put more power in the hands of the state government at the expense of local school districts.

    This is an abuse of power by an unelected public official.  All throughout the state, teachers, parents, students and concerned citizens are rising up to say that excessive testing is squeezing the heart out of public education in our state, driving out the best teachers and principals, and destroying the confidence and morale of our most vulnerable students.  It is time elected officials heard their voices. It is time those who serve the public say no to policies that when all is said and done, amount to collective child abuse.

  I understand that some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the state support Commissioner King's policies. However, I urge you to hear the voices of all those quietly suffering because, through no fault of their own, they, their children and the students they teach, have been labeled "failures."

  Please work for Commissioner King's removal and put in his place someone who actually listens to the voices of teachers, principals, parents and students.


Mark D Naison
Professor of African American Studies and History
Fordham University

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