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Soon-to-Be US Ed Chief Was Almost FB CEO's Ed Chief 30

theodp writes: Before President Obama announced John B. King as his pick to replace outgoing U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan (who is returning to Chicago, where his kids now attend a $30K-a-year private school), King was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's pick to lead Zuck's failed $100 million "reform" effort of Newark's Schools. From The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools?: "[Newark Mayor Cory] Booker asked [NJ Governor Chris] Christie to grant him control of the schools by fiat, but the governor demurred, offering him instead a role as unofficial partner in all decisions and policies, beginning with their joint selection of a 'superstar' superintendent to lead the charge. Booker's first choice was John King, then deputy New York State education commissioner, who had led some of the top-performing charter schools in New York City and Boston and who credited public school teachers with inspiring him to persevere after he was orphaned as a young boy in Brooklyn. [Mark] Zuckerberg and [his wife Priscilla] Chan flew King to Palo Alto for a weekend with them and [Facebook executive Sheryl] Sandberg; Christie hosted him at the governor's beach retreat on the Jersey Shore; and Booker led King and his wife, Melissa, on a tour of Newark, with stops at parks and businesses that hadn't existed before his mayoralty. But after much thought, King turned them down. Zuckerberg, Christie, and Booker expected to arrive at their national model within five years. King believed it could take almost that long to change the system's fundamental procedures and to raise expectations across the city for children and schools. "John's view was that no one has achieved what they're trying to achieve: build an urban school district serving high-poverty kids that gets uniformly strong outcomes," said an acquaintance who talked with King about the offer. "You'd have to invest not only a long period of time but tremendous political capital to get it done." King had questions about a five-year plan overseen by politicians who were likely to seek higher office."
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Soon-to-Be US Ed Chief Was Almost FB CEO's Ed Chief

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  • by sittingnut ( 88521 ) <> on Saturday October 03, 2015 @03:22PM (#50652501) Homepage

    that this person was farsighted/risk averse enough to turn down a scheme that failed in the end. giving as reasons unreliability of short term politicians, but is now accepting lame duck position.

  • Obama and Duncan sends their children to schools that refuse to associate with the policies that these guys says good for kids. (Usually the pretense of NOT sending kids to public school is security, here Duncan goes on to say they are doing it to keep it simple.) May be their kids are beyond these policies. Like erstwhile Soviet Union, all are equal but some are more equal.
    • by theodp ( 442580 )

      John King Is Named New York State Education Commissioner []: "Their two children, Amina, 7, and Mareya, 4, attend a Montessori school. Over the past two years, he has been courted for several prominent education leadership positions, including the superintendent's seat in Newark, by Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook executive who has pledged $100 million to that city's troubled schools. But Dr. King said he wanted to stay in New York because of his personal ties and his desire to finish what he started with Dr. St

  • by theodp ( 442580 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @03:56PM (#50652681)

    What Arne Duncan's new senior adviser did to N.Y. schools []:

    "You'll see the rollout of a statewide data system that will give a lot more useful information to teachers and principals about student performance and a lot more useful data for policymakers."

    In the above quote, King was referring to the implementation of inBloom, funded and created by the Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation. Its purpose was to amass an extraordinary amount of confidential student data with the intent of sharing it with private software developers to create personalized educational products. Despite public outcry, John King continued to support inBloom until the legislature stepped in and pulled the plug during the spring of 2014. Shortly thereafter, inBloom itself shut down [].

    • by theodp ( 442580 )

      From Goodbye, Arne Duncan...Hello, John King []:

      Head of Class Size Matters, Leonie Haimson, had this to say upon his leaving:

      "John King was the most unpopular commissioner in the history of NY State. He showed no respect for parents, teachers or student privacy. Ironically, he was intent on protecting his own privacy, and routinely withheld public documents; our Freedom of Information request of his communications with inBloom and the Gates foundation is more than 1 1/2 years overdue. His resignation is goo

      • As the parent of two kids in public school in New York, I can personally attest that John King was horrible. He pushed a high stakes testing regime whose only purpose seemed to be funneling money to Pearson. When parents complained at a public forum he hosted, he responded by refusing to hold any more public forums until he could change them around so nobody could complain at them. In short, the parents were responding to his changes with valid concerns (e.g. kids stressing out with tests so much they we

  • by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Saturday October 03, 2015 @04:12PM (#50652747) Homepage

    TL;DR anyone?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will Obama EVER stop picking corporate stooges to run important things?

    Education has been suffering ever since George W Bush and has continued to be under attack from Obama's picks.

    We don't need technology. We don't need facebook. We don't need online learning. What do we need?

    Pencils. Paper. Well maintained schools. Breakfast programs. Lower class sizes. Paying teachers for the work they do.

    That's it! That's ALL we need! It couldn't be that simple, but those things don't have the business charm that charte

"Take that, you hostile sons-of-bitches!" -- James Coburn, in the finale of _The_President's_Analyst_