Thursday, January 24, 2013

John King Is the Worst Person in the World*

It's not really easy to become a superlative. You have to work very hard at it, and there is always tremendous competition. But NYS Education Commissioner John King is breaking new ground of late, leapfrogging over other "reformers" to capture a title they're all clamoring for. How did he do this?

It's simple, actually. When Mike Bloomberg once again failed to negotiate a junk science evaluation for teachers, reneging on a deal with the UFT, John King decided he'd take a billion dollars away from the neediest kids in New York City. Though it's his decision, he's quite content to blame the UFT, Bloomberg, or pretty much anyone. I'm UFT, so I guess it's my fault. And I'm worse than most, because I absolutely oppose the use of junk science in determining whether or not teachers keep jobs. For reasons I cannot remotely fathom, my union leadership embraces this.

Now we can debate all day long as to why the evaluation deal failed (Bloomberg, Bloomberg, and Bloomberg). But as ridiculous as that debate is, there ought to be none whatsoever about a man who'd withhold a billion dollars from children so poor they need free lunch. Now sure, you'll say, King has his kids in a Montessori school, so why the hell should he care that public schools are degenerating into test factories where teachers are interchangeable, replaceable cogs, to be dispensed with when test scores don't make him or his corporate buds look good?

That's certainly a good argument. As King is enamored of programs that are neither research nor practice-based, preferring "reforms" that originate in the most profound depths of Bill Gates' hind quarters, it doesn't appear he cares much about city kids. As he chooses not to patronize the schools he purports to lead and support, there's certainly an argument that he's an outrageous hypocrite. And the fact that he has only three years teaching experience, two in a charter, certainly indicates he may not know a whole hell of a lot about what goes on in public schools.

What is not even debatable is that he does not give a damn about the neediest children in New York City. That he would deprive our children of help and support simply to push an evaluation system no one really needs makes him beyond despicable.

If the man had any shred of conscience, he wouldn't be sleeping at night.

 *With due respect to Governor Andrew Cuomo, running a strong second
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