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Commissioner hasn’t passed character test

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Many articles have been written regarding education forums being held across the state with Commissioner John B. King Jr.

These forums give the commissioner the opportunity to understand what is actually going on in classrooms. Throughout the state, the commissioner has heard teachers, parents and students tell their story about the demoralizing and ineffective results taking place with the current state testing requirements. One has to believe that there is merit in these concerns, considering the same message is coming from all parts of the state and have been reiterated at each forum meeting.

The commissioner spends his day with other bureaucrats and has little day-to-day contact with teachers, parents and students. Although he has spent time visiting classrooms, teaching is very different from visiting. He is supposed to be the advocate for public education, and judging children by their test scores has never been an educational objective until Commissioner King’s rule.

At no other time in our educational history do we find administrators, teachers, parents and students uttering the same consensus: Implementation of the Common Core Curriculum is flawed; there is excessive testing; and test scores are more important than the process of learning. Effective alternatives with genuine classroom solutions have been offered by experienced school administrators and teachers.

At a forum not long ago, parents became agitated. The commissioner took offense at their statements. Consequently, he canceled all future forums.

This act by itself is an eye opener into the character and integrity of the commissioner. When a person in a leadership role resorts to dictatorial decision-making, one has to question their competence, motive and overall character. If it were not for legislatures intervening in rescheduling these forums, the public would have no opportunity for input. Should the commissioner be impervious to the statements and concerns of parents, students, teachers and administrators?

Commissioner King has abandoned his duty to provide effective public education for all students. He focuses on his opinion with little regard for the experience and knowledge of administrators, teachers, parents and students. He hides from criticism.

He disregards experienced educators, observations and ignores parents concerns. Such flagrant disregard toward educators and parents is an indication that the man is not up to the job.

Commissioner King, in simple language, when put to the test has failed.

Cynthia Graham

Watertown

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