A note on John King's resignation

By AFT President Randi Weingarten

It's not surprising to see John King leave New York, after a tumultuous two years. Boldness makes great headlines. An ability to embed an agenda, have it embraced and build on on it makes great leaders. That's why we were so disappointed and critical of the commissioner's misplaced focus on the high-stakes consequences of Common Core testing, ignoring the voices of parents, students and teachers as well as the pleas for help and support. If a commissioner really believes in the efficacy of the Common Core, then build a system where kids and teachers could do the hard and real transition work to get there. That wasn't done in New York, and it's a reason there is so much anger. 

So, this is a great opportunity for a reset in New York. For the rest of the nation, hopefully John King—whose heart is in the right place—has learned from his mistakes and, for the last two years of this administration, will advise that to embed policy, you must deeply work with those on the front lines.

Dec. 12, 2014