Saturday, January 2, 2016

Why the new education secretary is a lightning rod - The Washington Post

Why the new education secretary is a lightning rod - The Washington Post:

Why the new education secretary is a lightning rod

 A look at the home page of the U.S. Education Department confirms that Arne Duncan, education secretary for the past seven years, is officially gone and his successor, John B. King, Jr. is now in charge. But King, who joined the department in early 2015 as “senior advisor delegated duties of deputy secretary of education” does not have the same exact title as Duncan. King is “acting education secretary” — and there are important reasons for that.

One is that he became a lightning rod in his last job, from which he was given a push by the governor of New York. As a result, it is likely it would be harder than usual for President Obama to secure Senate approval for his appointment, and so the “acting” designation allows King to do the job without it.
King came to the federal department via New York, where for 3½ years he had been the state’s education commissioner during a critical time in the state’s school reform efforts. King’s résumé is impressive. From his official biography:
Prior to his arrival at the Department, Dr. King had served since 2011 as the commissioner of education for the state of New York. In that role, he served as chief executive officer of the State Education Department and as president of the University of the State of New York, overseeing the State’s elementary and secondary schools (serving 3.1 million students), public, independent and proprietary colleges and universities, libraries, museums, and numerous other educational institutions. Dr. King was one of the nation’s youngest state education leaders at the time of his appointment and the first African-American and Puerto Rican to serve as New York State education commissioner.…
Dr. King earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Harvard University, a Master of Arts in the teaching of social studies from Columbia University’s Teachers College, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and a Doctor of Education degree in educational administrative practice from Columbia University’s Teachers College. Dr. King was a 1995 Truman Scholar and received the James Madison Memorial Fellowship for secondary-level teaching of American history, American government, and social studies. Prior to joining the Department, in February 2011, Dr. King was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to serve on the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission. In addition, Dr. King served on the board of New Leaders for New Schools from 2005 to 2009, and is a 2008 Aspen Institute-NewSchools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellow.
Dr. King’s life story is an extraordinary testament to the power of education. Both of Dr. King’s parents were career New York City public school educators, whose example serves as an enduring inspiration. Dr. King’s parents both died from illness by the time he was 12, and he struggled to cope with their loss as he moved between family members and schools. He credits New York City public school teachers — particularly his teachers at P.S. 276 in Canarsie and Mark Twain J.H.S. in Coney Island — for saving his life by providing transformative educational experiences and 
Why the new education secretary is a lightning rod - The Washington Post: