(COMMON DREAMS) Andrea Germanos, March 9, 2016 — Noted intellectual Noam Chomsky, author and activist Naomi Klein, and education historian Diane Ravitch are among those urging the U.S. Senate to reject President Barack Obama’s pick for the next education secretary, saying the policies he’s supported “have been ineffective and destructive to schools, educators, and most importantly students.”
Their concerns are outlined in a letter published by the Washington Post on Thursday.
Obama’s choice is John King, who’s held the position of Acting Secretary of Education since the departure of Arne Duncan. King has already received an “astounding pass” from the Senate education committee last month, as Valerie Strauss wrote in an earlier story for the Post. At the hearings, he “was not asked one single direct question about the tumultuous 3 ½ years he spent as the commissioner of education in New York state. Not by Republicans, and not by Democrats,” she wrote.
King’s critics have previously pointed out that he was a teacher for a mere three years, has been a fervent supporter of charter schools and high-stakes testing, displayed “autocratic behavior as state commissioner of education [which] spurred a massive parent opt out from state testing,” and was hit with the charge of being “responsible for more attacks on public educators than almost anyone else.”