A few updates on the departure of John King from NYSED:
- Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch has announced that the process of finding a replacement for King will be conducted in secret with no input from the public. In fairness, this is no different from prior appointments, but at the same time, considering that he was (in the eyes of most educators) such a complete failure, wouldn’t getting a little input be the right thing to do?
- In the meantime, King’s interim successor will be Elizabeth Berlin, who is currently executive deputy commissioner of the state education department. Although she is the one being given the title of interim commissioner, she will be sharing day to day responsibility with Ken Wagner. No explanation was given for this odd arrangement, but it may have something to do with the fact that Ms Berlin actually has even less experience with public education than John King.
- There have been a few high-profile “reformer” types who have moved on from their positions of late, leading to the question – is this the beginning of a new era? Sadly, the answer seems to be no.
There were no surprises in the reactions to the announcement that King would be leaving.
- The Lower Hudson Journal published a scathing editorial.
- NYSUT issued a statement, as did the Badass Teachers Association.
- The New York State Allies for Public Education issued a call for “a new direction from the Regents and Demand [for] NO Interference from Governor Cuomo” (which will, of course, be ignored – see item one above)
- Carol Burris wrote a typical (i.e. beautifully written, direct, and dead-on) piece in the Washington Post looking at King’s legacy.
In case you’re wondering exactly what John King’s responsibilities will include at the USDOE, here’s a picture from the near future (courtesy of Lace to the Top).