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John King, Common Core Warrior

kingFor New York State Education Commissioner, John King implementing the Common Core State Standards isn’t about politics, it isn’t a game, these standards matter! Just to get it straight, CCSS are not curricula and they do not determine what students should read or how teachers should teach. They are simply a set of standards, developed by The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to set goals for what students should know at the end of each grade.  These new standards will set a higher bar for students, allow for a greater emphasis on higher-level thinking and encourage a more in-depth understanding of materials — in short, CCSS will place the United States back in line with other top performing nations and the new economy.

As an early adopter of CCSS four years ago, New York state has become a flashpoint for this inevitably bumpy implementation. This year, the New York State United Teachers Union called for John King’s resignation. In April, Governor Cuomo’s budget plan proposed  uncoupling the link between teacher assessment and student performance on CC-related standardized tests. There is pushback to do away with Common Core in the state of New York altogether. Throughout this negative feedback loop, John King has stayed the course.

John King is no stranger to adversity. At age 8, his mother, Adelina King a guidance counselor in New York’s public schools died suddenly. His father, the first African American principal in Brooklyn, died four years later. King credits the New York public school system for saving his life after these early losses and now wants to work to save more kids like himself. At NewSchools Summit, Arne Duncan’s former Chief of Staff, Joanne Weiss will ask King about his work to implement Common Core in New York. We will get past the misinformation that is circulating and learn about what is working in New York. They’ll talk about what teachers and principals need right now to support their efforts. Join us to talk about one of the most important educational shifts our country has seen in a century. Learn from John King what matters.

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