State education commissioner stepping down

Posted at 5:04 PM, Dec 10, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-05 17:02:27-05

At the request of President Obama, NYS Education Commissioner John King will join Obama's staff as Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

King will be stepping down to join the Obama administration and will receive special assignments from the president, according to State Regent Bob Bennett.

King has been a controversial figure around New York State, especially with the implementation of the Common Core curriculum, which King has vigorously defended.

Bennett agrees with King, saying Common Core has been debated and proven to be effective for many districts around New York State.

Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino is concerned about who will replace King.

King was especially tough on Buffalo Public Schools, when superintendent Pamela Brown was leading the way. Bennett says the district fell behind on reforms and was not able to turn around failing schools.

"He wasn't going to buy any of their turnaround plans that were poorly written, poorly drafted, poorly thought out and nothing but people--idiots--incompetent people trying to submit something to justify their existence.  John King didn't find that acceptable.  He wants a quality education, he wants quality programs to turn around these schools," Paladino said.

Bennett says King's appointment speaks volumes of the schools, statewide, and what he's accomplished.

"It says he is a visionary. He absolutely believes that all kids, especially minority kids, should have an education and the ability to learn, that they have great principals and teachers. He has never wavered from this belief for all the time he's been in Albany, not once."

King will step down at the end of the year and begin work with the Obama administration on January 2nd.

In statement, King said:

"I’m humbled and honored to have the chance to work with President Obama and Secretary Duncan. Their extraordinary leadership is helping students all across the nation get better prepared for college and careers. I’m excited to become part of that team.

"I’m also humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to work with Chancellor Tisch, all the members of the Board of Regents and the dedicated professionals at the State Education Department. We have accomplished great things for New York’s students.

"As a kid whose life was saved by the incredible teachers I had in public schools in Brooklyn, I’m proud to have served my fellow New Yorkers.”