SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Fine Dining With New York State Education Commissioner John King

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fine Dining With New York State Education Commissioner John King

I just came across this blog;  Oneonta Area For Public Education today. I think I saw it on the New York Bats Facebook page, or somewhere. Anyway, I fully haven't given it a good read through, but I'm adding it to the SBSB blog roll. Oh, and one other thing caught my eye on that blog. I found out today that NYSED Commissioner John King enjoys fine dining.

One of the authors of OA4PE (Got it right?), Betsy Bloom, shared about a conference she went to in Saratoga in which The King was the keynote speaker. The King yada-yada-yada'd about all the stuff he yada-yada-yada's about. But as Betsy shared, The King showed just how out of touch he is by using an analogy comparing dining with his wife and how shocked he is receiving letters from parents complaining about their child's math homework.

Some highlights;

The King blabbered, “When I’m in a restaurant, and the waiter opens the bottle of wine for me to taste, I never say no, send it back, even if it’s horrible. The same with my meal, if I don’t like it I’ll eat it anyway."

OK. First off, The King just shows how out of touch he is because most of us don't have the class that King claims he does, nor the wherewithal to eat at anywhere other than Applebee's. Besides, couldn't The King have said he orders a Genny when out to dinner with his wife? Heck, I would have even accepted him saying he orders an imported beer (as long as it were Labatt's Blue!).

But John, you lie. You showed in Poughkeepsie what you do when you don't get your way. You run away. You lie. You have others lie for you. You take your ball and run away.

But I call bullocks that you don't send your wine or your food back. If the food is undercooked, or burned, you eat it? If the the wine you ordered tastes like Aqua-Velva you drink it? My mother always, always sent her bluefish back. There was always something wrong with it. There was not one single restaurant in the the United States that could cook her bluefish correctly.

But I have digressed.

I must disagree with Betsy a wee bit on this one. Now bear with me, my point will soon be made.

In fact there is some logic to The King analogy about being in a chain restaurant, like Applebee's. Think about it.

In education, the teachers, the educators, are the waiters. We serve it. We place knowledge on the table of learning. We take the orders of what our students want. We can know what is good or what to stay away from.

The principals are the restaurant managers, the greeters, with the IQ's (at least in NYC) of the hat check girl. They think they know what is happening in the education restaurant, but they don't (in NYC).  But they run things.

The chefs? Well the chefs are the one's that put the curriculum together with the monies they are given and serve it up to the teachers. But the chefs must get direction from somewhere, no?

Yes, the chefs get their orders, their directions from the restaurant home office. In this case the home office is on Washington Ave in Albany. And who runs the restaurant? The King. He puts together the menus, he put together the ingredients, he doles out the monies, and he is the decider.

But because of what he is serving up, all the food at the restaurants taste like cardboard. There is also no fun allowed at the restaurants. No kids menu, no crayons, no coloring. The kids that come to The King's restaurants must have an appetite and attitude that is adult ready.

But the restaurant's The King runs are perfect. Few staff, and fewer customers. As long as the hedge fund investors and restaurant suppliers (Pearson has no branched off into food service) are happy, that is all that matters.

The customers? The King doesn't care. But the customer's care. The customer's aren't looking for anything fancy. They just want value.

1 comment:

Betsy Bloom said...

I really like how you flipped King's restaurant metaphor on its butt. It's amazing that he had the nerve to use it in the first place.