In an evening statement released December 10, the State Education Department announced that New York State Education Commissioner John King, Jr. will join the U.S. Department of Education as a senior advisor.
“John is an extraordinary leader who has dedicated his life to improving the opportunities of our young people, as a teacher, a school leader, and a leader of school systems,” Arne Duncan said. “His passion, his fierce intelligence, and his clear understanding of the difficult but vital work of education change will be an enormous benefit to this department and to the nation.”
King is expected to join the department in early 2015 and will be delegated the roles and responsibilities of the deputy secretary, which includes managing the department’s operations and overseeing implementation of major initiatives.
Commented SAANYS Executive Director Kevin Casey, “SAANYS would like to take this time to acknowledge Commissioner King for his civility and accessibility during a tumultuous period of reform. Although SAANYS and the commissioner did not always agree on policy or approach, Dr. King has consistently made himself accessible to SAANYS over the years, creating opportunities for SAANYS to raise its concerns and suggestions. We wish him well in his new post, and encourage him to keep the voices of practitioners with him as he affects national education policy.”
At its December 15 meeting, the New York State Board of Regents elevate Beth Berlin to acting commissioner and announced that Ken Wagner will serve as senior education policy director. Commented Chancellor Merryl Tisch during an interview with Capital Education, “The search is going to take place within our board. Every member of our board will be given an opportunity to have input, and we are going to set up a process that I think will be a good, honest, honorable process to make such an important decision. … We are hoping that superintendents and principals and teachers and leaders of institutions of higher education will apply.”