New York Teachers’ Union Votes No Confidence in Ed. Commissioner

By Catherine Gewertz — January 27, 2014 1 min read
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The board of the New York state teachers’ union has delivered a unanimous “no confidence” vote on state education commissioner John B. King Jr. and demanded his removal, one more blow to the common-core standards in a state that is rapidly stacking them up.

Meeting in Albany on Saturday, the 80-member board of New York State United Teachers also declared its opposition to the way the common standards have been implemented and called for “major course corrections to its failed implementation plan.”

King and Merryl Tisch, the chancellor of the state Board of Regents, issued a joint statement saying they will work with the governor and state lawmakers to “make necessary adjustments and modifications” to the standards, but insisted that “now is not the time to weaken” them.

The union has argued for many months that teachers have not uniformly had enough time to get acquainted with the standards, or curriculum designed for them, before being judged on how their students perform. Sharp drops in New York’s common-core-aligned tests last spring fueled the opposition, as did King’s cancellation of public forums on the standards. Some leaders in the state legislature have begun voicing doubts as well.

The board’s vote now faces a vote by delegates of the rank and file of the 600,000-member union in April. Read more from Stephen Sawchuk on Teacher Beat.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.