Tomorrow, March 14th, the Senate will hold the confirmation vote to for acting Secretary of Education, John King.
Will the Senate stab the nation’s parents in the back again like they did passing ESSA? We’ll see.
Senator Alexander needs to have his way with this vote because King arguably lines up with everything Alexander has packed into ESSA. Alexander made sure the HELP hearing was full of softballs for King.
King especially lines up on testing and control over the states to ensure control over standards.
“This new law preserves the federal levers to withhold funds from states or put them on high-risk [status]. And our Justice Department will be leaning in to make sure folks honor their obligation to promote equity.” – John King address to Chamber of Commerce, NAACP (via Ed Week)
Without question, King would be a disaster. Just ask New York state, where the citizens ran him out of the Education Commissioner position on his ear.
He is pro-Common Core. He is pro-High Stakes testing. He is pro-Fed total control over the states.
Remember, this is a guy who used the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote Common Core while simultaneously shaming opposition.
King shut down Common Core forums when parents were upset the forum was set up to be one giant lecture with no real public comment.
King also has disdain for the highly successful D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.
Read more about King’s trail of failure.
If you think the U.S. Dept. of Ed suing states over testing compliance is bad, many are not aware the Department is suing individual districts under a broad interpretation of Title IX to allow self identifying transgender students to use whatever locker room or bathroom facilities they wish. These individual suits represent a new level form of intimidation by the U.S. Department of Education.
Action Taken. Will We Be Heard This Time?
Parents, teachers, students and education activists across the country have taken action this past week. They’ve raged a war on Twitter, shared information on calling the Senate on Facebook, used email lists to reach into other states. Will it have an effect?
You can still make a difference. Call the Congressional Switchboard (202-224-3121) and ask for your Senator or look their office numbers up here.
I’ve done my part. I’ve contacted my representation. It is worth noting that I have received reports that both Senator Burr and Tillis have said they will not confirm King. I have not been able to independently confirm this on my own, however.
Back in February, when I made my initial inquiries, I received a form letter of sorts back from Tillis’s office.
I received nothing at all from Burr’s. Perhaps that response is wherever his I.D. went.
Local Contol Means Controlling Your Local Politicians, Not The Other Way Around
At an event I went to this past week, I encountered Rep. Renee Ellmers. I asked her why she voted ‘yes’ for HR 5, which paved the way for the reauthorization of a bad law that should have been scrapped.
She said. and I am paraphrasing here, ‘I voted yes because it was a good law for North Carolina education’. She rambled on about how it had such great things in it but didn’t mention a single specific item.
When I fired back and questioned the underlying controls in place to keep states subservient to the Fed and the basic cementing of Common Core.
Ellmers got hostile, pointed her finger at me and said, “You are incorrect. You are incorrect on Common Core”.
Yeah, you read that right. I am one of the more well-known Common Core fighting moms in the state. I wrote in detail about HR 5/ESSA, but I was wrong and Ellmers was right. I should know my place.
I was going to snap back at her but it was clear this question was turning into a full-blown incident so I dropped it and walked off.
As I was headed back to my seat, Ellmers encouraged me to contact her office for a sit down. It’s worth noting that I’ve heard that line for three years, yet the interviews never materialize.