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Anna Shah (914) 475-8889

Hudson Valley Parents Strongly Object to Appointment of Disgraced NYS Commissioner of Ed John King to Interim US Secretary of Education Post

Washington officials announced today that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will step down from his post in December. While news of Duncan’s departure brings relief for Hudson Valley parents, it is juxtaposed by the disgust and outrage parents feel having learned  that the person chosen  to replace Duncan is none other than disgraced former New York State Commissioner of Education, John King.

“As New York Education Commissioner, John King was a tireless advocate for the Common Core, high-stakes testing, and the EngageNY modules. At the same time, he sent his own children to a private Montessori school that does none of these things. Our concern is that John King will continue to advocate for education reforms for other people’s kids that are unacceptable for his own,” said Nicholas Tampio, Fordham University Professor and Hudson Valley public school parent.

Commissioner King’s tenure was plagued by a clear disconnect between him and the very stakeholders and public school children impacted by his decisions. Parents know that replacing Arne Duncan with John King, even on a temporary basis, will lead to more emphasis on common core testing, more privatizing and  more disregard for the voice of parents and teachers across the nation as these concerns have been validated by King’s actions to date.

“King was successful in shutting down dialogue on important education policy matters such as common core, high stakes testing and student privacy but was good at building a chinese wall between himself and parents. In his short reign as Commissioner, King was successful in mobilizing and forcing parents, educators, and concerned citizens to call and write state politicians demanding the he resign or be removed from leadership. The notion that he will now serve to lead the country on education policy is utterly alarming,” said Anna Shah, co-founder Hudson Valley Alliance for Public Education and Dutchess County public school parent.

Lauren Isaacs Schimko, Rockland County  public school parent said: “The announcement of U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Arne Duncan’s resignation initially seemed to be a slam-dunk. Unfortunately, a foul shot was perpetrated on the American public with his replacement, John King. NYS parents remember him all too well. As the NYS Commissioner of Education and puppet of Regent Merryl Tisch, his “reign” was fraught with contentious public forums and non-listening tours promoting poorly written high stakes tests and the cognitively inappropriate Common Core Learning Standards. What else is there to say other than “in a country of the blind, the one-eyed man is King.”

“The replacement of Arne Duncan with John King is truly mind boggling. Mr. King did nothing but contribute to the demise of public education in New York State. He consistently refused to acknowledge the concerns of parents and forged ahead with promoting CC and high stakes testing. We need to make certain the rest of the country is well aware of what’s happening,”  said Suzanne DiAngelo Coyle, Hudson Valley public school parent and administrator of Stop Common Core Rockland County.

“John King entered the US Dept. of Education with the title of “Senior Advisor,” which allowed him to bypass THE congressional approval process. Now he is being elevated from that position to Acting Secretary, our highest federal education position — and again, he bypasses any congressional approval process. This creates a very concerning precedent” said Lisa Eggert Litvin, Co. President, Hastings-on-Hudson PTSA and Hudson Valley parent.

Hudson Valley Alliance for Public Education encourages parents to voice their disapproval about King’s appointment by calling the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414  as well as a special White House telephone line dedicated to public comments at 202-456-1111 in order to urge the White House to reconsider.

Hudson Valley Alliance for Public Education, is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating for the rights of parents and public school children against harmful testing practices in the Hudson Valley. To join the Alliance or to learn more, please visit us here: