SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: John King of Comedy Befouls the Ideals of Martin Luther King

Monday, January 20, 2014

John King of Comedy Befouls the Ideals of Martin Luther King

Today is Martin Luther King Day. I was only 4 years old when he was assassinated and have no memory of him at all. But I do know one thing. He was a transformative figure for this country.

King is in the same echelon as Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, FDR, Jefferson, Madison. He dared to think outside the box and took on the establishment and did what was right even though it was unpopular to those is power.

So how is MLK Day celebrated? By Commissioner of Education John King being as blatantly incorrect about King's legacy and what he would have wanted as the Tea Baggers are as blatantly incorrect about the Founding Fathers and Ronald Reagan.

John King of Comedy today shared with all in today's Daily News how a just found recording of MLK giving a speech to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address is tied into today's efforts to transform public schools. I truly do not see the connection.

His comedieness blabbers; true equality of opportunity remains elusive — in no small part because we as a country have not yet found a way to provide all of our children with an education that prepares them for success in college and careers.

Yet, we are reverting back to separate but equal forms of education in this country. Your boss, Governor Andy has cut education spending in the state, capped property taxes, yet charter schools are raking in millions upon millions from wealthy "do gooder" benefactors and flaunt their advantages in co-located schools. 

Schools are being closed left and right with no true formula to decided whether or not they are failing. Left to the whim of mayors and politicians, closing schools tears at the fabric of communities pitting neighbors against neighbors for the crumbs that are left over.

King of Comedy spews forth; As a teacher and principal, I was driven each day by the conviction that while we cannot ignore and indeed must address the challenges posed by economic hardship, inadequate access to healthcare, housing and the like, the single best tool we have to advance opportunity is education.

OK, King of Comedy taught for what, three years? Was a charter school principal/founder? So when and where did he not have to be concerned about having students who were not with him that were only in school because both they and their parents were enthusiastic about education? The deck was stacked. What percentage of ELL's and Special Ed. students did he have? Discipline problems? How many students was King of Comedy involved in counseling out? 

As for that education is the best opportunity for students to advance in this world, yeah that is a very good point. But it can't be done in a vacuum. Would it not be a bummer as a child if you lived in dilapidated housing, lacked preventative medical care, did not eat a proper diet, had diabetes, had asthma, lived in a home in which parents did not care for you? Remember, not making excuses here, but laying out facts. 

Inadequate health care, housing, economic hardships contribute to poor educational experiences. Just like a batter, who can't hit a ball unless his feet, legs, and hips go into the swing.

And the essence of education comes down to the interaction between teacher and student and the rigor and richness of the work in which they are engaged.

Essence? See, I can't take this seriously. Who is King of Comedy, General Ripper? Too weird. But the interaction between the teacher and the student is what makes education? In what way? Oh, the rigor and the richness. 

But what is rigor? Seems the only rigor the students are receiving in New York State is rigor mortis. Richness? You mean like a well rounded liberal arts college education? How is this possible when all that is concentrated on in school is the Math and ELA exams? What about the arts? What about social studies? Science? Health? Physical Education? Just having some gosh darn fun?

The efforts of the Board of Regents to implement new college- and career-ready standards

What is college ready and which colleges are we getting them ready for? Same with career ready? Explain, someone, anyone, what career ready means. At what ages is this decided?

to improve the training, evaluation and support of teachers and principals are about exactly that.

ROTAFLMAO!! Yeah, sure. 
 The new Common Core standards are different from past standards efforts because they were explicitly backwardassed-engineered 


They were developed by asking primary and secondary educators, higher education faculty and business leaders: What are the skills students must have to succeed in college and in the 21st century economy?

To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield from the movie, "Easy Money," where were the regular guy or gal teachers involved in this endeavor? Name the names and organizations involved and who had the most to benefit?

A skilled educator, for example, could build a fascinating lesson from the newly discovered audio recording of King’s speech. Why did he deviate from the written text in certain places? Why did he emphasize some words and phrases over others? How does this speech compare with his Letter from Birmingham Jail or his “I Have a Dream” speech?

To build a lesson on this we need Common Core, to waste all this money on Common Core? Wouldn't a few good PD sessions do the same? In fact at what age does King of Comedy anticipate such fascination?

At a recent community forum in Brooklyn on the Common Core, parents described to me their experiences graduating from high school thinking they were prepared, then arriving on a college campus only to be told that they had to take numerous remedial classes. With great urgency and conviction, each of these parents explained that they wanted something better for their child.

This has absolutely nothing to do whether or not Common Core is implemented. It has so much to do with the parents, the curriculum in the school, and being challenged.

One thing I have noticed throughout my years teaching, and especially since my son has been in school is that what is taught in NYC is fare behind here in the suburbs? My theory? It's not the teacher's faults. It's the ridiculous curriculum they are given. The city wishes to dumb down everything. 

The Common Core offers a path to the precise reading, writing and thinking skills that will help propel their children and children across the state to success.
Prove it! Bill Gates said this was an experiment and would have no idea if it works for ten years.

Yet some now want us to delay, or even abandon, our efforts to raise standards.

Give the people what they want. The parents of New York State and the local school districts know what is best for our children. Not the King of Comedy, not Washington DC, not Bill Gates, but the parents, educators, and communities know what is best. The people have been speaking and the King of Comedy is ignoring. 
Career and college ready is bogus. What kind of careers? I keep hearing that we have to keep up with China and India. That over 2 billion people! The vast majority of them make $5 a day, if that. They have no safety regulations, are not allowed to collectively bargain, their countries are run by oligarchs. Hey, wait, maybe that is the sum game of Common Core. To keep the vast majority ignorant and just barely out of reach of being successful so that they will toil for the elite of this country.

If it isn't then we are still being forced to be all the same. I graduated at 18. I had a great education in high school offered to me in high school, I just chose not to take advantage of it. I played musical colleges, WCC, Mercy, WCC, SUNY-Alfred, Corning Community College, and finally SUNY- Purchase. I was and still am smarter than the top tier of students in my high school. Being book smart and being able to write great does not make you smart. Some of the brightest people I know if dropped in the middle of the woods with nothing would be able to get out or start a fire. They would start crying in 45 minutes. Common Core can't teach that. 

As far as being career ready, again that needs explanation. In 1st grade I wanted to be an astronaut. My son in 1st grade wanted to sell ice cream. Now he wants to play Major League Baseball. He's a left-handed hitting catcher. Should he now forgo academics and just concentrate on baseball?

Hey, hey, hey ...
Give the people what they want


Anonymous said...

The gauche disco suit on the picture of Johnny King evokes the disdain so many have of the tone and fashion deaf prince of Ed RHEEform.

Anonymous said...

Nice work.