President Obama’s legacy of rewarding incompetence by surrounding himself with unaccomplished cronies in his Cabinet continues. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has announced his resignation, and his replacement is John King, the current Deputy Education Secretary and former New York State Commissioner of Education.
Obama said he will bypass the congressional confirmation process by naming King as “acting chief” for the rest of his second term. At a press conference announcing Duncan’s resignation, Obama said he was sorry to see his “favorite partner in pickup basketball” go.
Duncan is no stranger to controversy. As an advocate of the controversial Common Core program, he came under fire for racist remarks directed at “white suburban moms,” as reported in The Washington Post on November 16, 2013:
“U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a group of state schools superintendents Friday that he found it ‘fascinating’ that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from ‘white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.’”
The idea that Duncan thinks that white suburban mothers are the problem is the problem.
Well Duncan is gone, and enter King, stage Far Left.
King’s reign as NYS Education Commissioner from 2011-2014 was turbulent, to put it mildly. He had only three years teaching experience at a charter school before becoming commissioner. And in his vast experience, King compared his advocacy of Common Core to the civil rights movement and racial discrimination.
His implantation of Common Core came under immediate criticism, as reported by NPR:
“New York was one of the first states to adopt the standards, after winning a federal Race to the Top grant, and implementation made King into a lightning rod. Many parents and teachers criticized the state for rushing the rollout without giving schools enough support. Criticism grew as the state implemented new, more difficult tests aligned to the standards. In 2013, the percentage of students deemed proficient fell to roughly 30 percent statewide, half of what it had been before the Common Core.
King responded by holding public forums, which became so raucous that he briefly suspended them. Deborah Brooks, a parent from Port Washington who attended one forum, said the crowd complained about implementing new standards and tests at the same time, but she said it didn’t seem like King cared.
“I kind of picture him sitting in the chair of the bulldozer or the steamroller, and, if you got in his way, woe to you.”
In fact at one town hall meeting, King spoke for 1 hour and 40 minutes before “white, suburban moms,” and dads, were given an opportunity to speak. They were allowed 23 minutes to speak. After it was brought up that King’s children attended Montessori, private school in Wisconsin that isn’t subjected to NY’s stringent standards, the meeting was abruptly ended.
Afterward, King’s town hall meetings were strictly controlled; attendees were by invite only, and questions were pre-screened.
The backlash was so great that Liberal politicians even bailed on King. As reported in the NY educational site Chalkbeat:
“As the criticism mounted, King was also losing crucial allies across the state. Gov. Andrew Cuomo backed legislation to untie student test scores from teacher evaluations for two years, something that King had steadfastly refused to support. And the de Blasio administration in New York City has proved a less willing partner than the Bloomberg administration, sparring with the state over its plans to intervene in struggling schools.”
Things got so bad that the New York State United Teacher assembly unanimously withdrew its support for Common Core and issued a “no confidence vote,” calling upon King to step down:
“NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said, ‘NYSUT and our members have consistently done everything to convince SED to avoid the train wreck they have engineered. For three years, SED and the Regents have repeatedly rejected every significant recommendation teachers and parents made to correct the huge problems with Common Core and the Regents reform agenda.’ She added, ‘Our message is loud and clear: Commissioner King has got to go.’”
And that’s why Obama wants King. He has showcased the perfect amount of incompetence. King will continue the reign of terror over America’s school system for another year.
Appointing a Liberal black elitist as Education Secretary with an abject record of failure is just Obama’s way of reminding America that the new sheriff is black. White suburban moms, here’s your warning: inner city schools coming to your neighborhoods soon.
Follow James on Twitter @NY_2_Carolina