Sometimes the messenger matters.
You wouldn’t expect Native Americans to believe an apology from Christopher Columbus.
You wouldn’t expect African Americans to believe an apology from David Duke.
So why the heck do the Democrats expect teachers to believe an apology from John King!?
The acting U.S. Secretary of Education is – himself – responsible for more attacks on public educators than almost anyone else.
In his former role as New York Chancellor of Education, he refused to fix a school system he was responsible for destroying all the while pointing his finger at teachers.
However, late last month in his new federal position, King gave a speech at a Philadelphia high school acknowledging the mistakes of the Obama administration in tying teachers’ evaluations to student test scores – a practice he was guilty of in New York.
“I think there’s just such an urgency around making sure that teachers feel valued in our society,” King said in an interview with the Washington Post in January.
“It’s one of the things I worry a lot about. I want young people to see a future for themselves as teachers.”
Were you worried about teachers in New York when you tied their evaluations to unproven and inferior Common Core tests? Were you worried about students when you approved an obviously fraudulent charter school run by an obviously fraudulent con man? Were you worried about the profession when you ignored and dismissed parents at various education forums? Were you worried about public schools when you sparked the largest opt out movement in the country?
I’m sorry, but this apology rings hollow to most educators. We know you. We know that your biggest qualification for your position in charge of the nation’s public school system is a three year stint teaching in a “no excuses” charter school with a high suspension rate.
It’s kind of hard to believe you mean a thing you say. And by extension, it’s hard to believe a thing President Barack Obama says about education, either. He was the dunderhead who picked Arne Duncan to be his first Secretary of Education and then you to succeed him.
It must be an election year.
Since a few months before the Presidential Primaries, the Democrats have been apologizing for the damage they’ve done to public education.
Obama says he wants to reduce standardized tests. That’s great – with less than one year left in his second term! After increasing it beyond even the wildest dreams of his predecessor George W. Bush!
But since we’re talking apologies here, are you, Mr. King, willing to actually do anything to make things better for the nation’s teachers?
For instance, do you think the U.S. Department of Education should be exempt from regulatory capture? In other words, should a regulatory agency like the Department of Ed advance the commercial or political interests of special interests that dominate the industry it is charged with regulating?
In other words, should any employee of the department or their immediate family be permitted to collude with the corporate interests seeking special favor in the field of education? Should a prominent member of the department also be allowed to work for an industry seeking to profit off our public schools? Should his wife?
No? Then perhaps your wife Melissa Steele King shouldn’t be accepting a position at Bellwether Consultants, a leading corporate education reform organization. They represent The New Teachers Project, New School Venture Fund, KIPP, IDEA Charter Schools, Gulen Charter Schools, Rocketship Charters and many others.
So while classroom teachers will only be able to communicate with you through official correspondence, a representative of the standardization and privatization movement will be right across from you at the dinner table every night!
If you really wanted us to take you seriously, your family wouldn’t be pulling this crap.
Your latest apology is just an attempt to smooth over your own Senate education committee confirmation hearing on Thursday, Feb. 25. You want to show how much bipartisan support you have so you can become the official Education Secretary and not just acting Education Secretary.
Look, you might say. I just threw a bone to teachers. They love me!
What a steaming pile of bullshit!
Does that offend you? Oh. Then please accept my most heartfelt apology.
NOTE: Diane Ravitch also posted about this article on her blog.