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[Susan notes: Reader Comment:

The Gods in Albany had best heed Mr. Dudek's words and the numerous petitions calling for John King to step aside.

I would go one step further and demand that all connections an education official may have to the charter school movement, the standardized test industry, the Common Core big money (Gates, ALEC, Murdoch, the Waltons, Americans for Prosperity, Scaife, etc.), and privatization hedge funds (Cuomo) be disclosed immediately to the public.

This state has handed over the futures of millions of students and tens of thousands of professionals to people who have infiltrated the positions of highest public trust to fundamentally alter public education and to transmogrify it into a cash cow for investors. They must be fully exposed and then stopped in their tracks or else our school systems will continue their evolution into institutions where our kids go to have their brains scrubbed, rinsed, and dried according to the glorious dictates of David Coleman (Common Core creator and currently heading the College Board where he's rewriting the SAT).

Of course, King believes so weakly in the Common Core and its assessments that he squirrels his kids off to Montessoriland.


Published in Buffalo News

To the editor

On Oct. 10, State Education Commissioner John King Jr. held a town hall meeting in Poughkeepsie so that parents could share their questions and concerns about New York’s Common Core standards and the Department of Education. And share their concerns they did! The parents shared their frustration – make that rage -- with the commissioner about his policies, his department and the Common Core standards. King was so shaken that he canceled all future events, including the one scheduled for Williamsville.

Nothing the Department of Education has done since King has taken office is aligned with best practices in education or learning, and parents recognize that his dumbed-down, corporatized form of "teacher-proofed" education has a devastating impact on their children’s ability to think, learn, create and innovate. Such standardized forms of education fail to inspire children to become active and engaged members of their classrooms or communities. Instead, these forms of education that value lecture, scripted learning, rote memorization and multiple-choice testing deaden our children to the world around them, creating passive consumers of products and politics.

Perhaps that is what Gov. Andrew Cuomo was looking for with his pick for education commissioner? For if we train our children to stop questioning, then they won’t grow up to question the governor's ties to corporate interests, such as Pearson. King had the audacity to imply that parents are the "special interest" group "manipulating" the process. Unfortunately for Cuomo and King, we are not buying it. You see, back when we went to school, we were taught how to think.

Christopher Dudek

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