- Critics of John B. King are speaking out in a group letter, saying that his "ineffective and destructive" policies as Education Commissioner of New York from 2011-2014 ought to prevent him from being formally approved as U.S. Secretary of Education.
- Education historian and activist Diane Ravitch, educator Deborah Meier, author Nikhil Goyal and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis all signed the letter.
- According to the Washington Post, during King's nomination hearing last week, not a single senator asking any direct questions about his tenure in New York.
It's unclear what kind of impact the letter will have, if any. Twenty-year-old Nikhil Goyal reportedly penned it, and its release coincides with the publication of Goyal's new book. That means any attention paid to the note inevitably doubles as marketing for the title, a savvy PR move.
At the same time, this is far from the first time that King has been hounded by critics. His time as education chief in New York left many with doubts about how the state rolled out Common Core-aligned testing, to the point where New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that “Common Core’s implementation in New York has been flawed and mismanaged from the start.”
However, thus far, King's formal nomination process has been relatively smooth. He's been diplomatic as Acting Secretary of Education, attempting to build bridges with teachers and smooth ruffled feathers left behind by his predecessor Arne Duncan. Yet two issues close to King's heart may prove divisive: he's both called for greater equity in schools and asked states to be aggressive when it comes to poor-performing schools, abandoning teacher evaluation metrics that don't help the educators themselves improve.