Originally Sent: 3/10/2016

From HSLDA

Urgent—Tell Your Senators:
“NO” to John King Jr. for U.S. Secretary of Ed!

Dear Members and Friends,

With the recent departure of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, President Obama has nominated former New York Education Commissioner John King Jr. to be the new head of the U.S. Department of Education. He was approved on a 16–6 vote by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Wednesday, March 9, and now his nomination is pending before the full U.S. Senate. Senators Mike Enzi (WY), Richard Burr (NC), Johnny Isakson (GA), Rand Paul (KY), Pat Roberts (KS), and Tim Scott (SC) voted against King’s nomination in committee, and deserve our thanks. Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) voted to send King’s nomination to the full Senate, but indicated that she has serious doubts about whether she will vote to confirm him on the Senate floor.

Mike Smith MIKE SMITH HSLDA president  

HSLDA strongly opposes King’s nomination due to his outspoken support for national databases and the Common Core. Even though the recent Every Student Succeeds Act includes strong language prohibiting national databases and limiting the federal role in Common Core, King’s past actions indicate that he will seek to thwart Congress’ intent if he is confirmed to be the newest U.S. Secretary of Education.

Call Your U.S. Senators Now!

Please call your two U.S. senators today and urge them to reject John King Jr. as Secretary of Education. You can reach the offices of your two U.S. senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for their respective offices, or you can use HSLDA’s legislative toolbox.

It is not necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler. Your message can be as simple as:

“Please reject John King Jr. as Secretary of Education. His time as Education Commissioner in New York shows that he will bully parents and teachers, promote failed education policies like Common Core, and seek to threaten the safety and security of our children by advocating for national databases like inBloom. He is not the right person to lead the U.S. Department of Education.”

Click here to send an HSLDA-generated email to your U.S. Senator today.

What Is King’s Record?

King is one of Common Core’s staunchest advocates and a firm believer in the power of educational bureaucracy. During his time as New York’s Education Commissioner from 2011 to 2014, King repeatedly shut down important political discourse, particularly involving the discussion of whether New York should adopt Common Core. He canceled town hall meetings, limited comment time for parents and educators, and called concerned protestors “brainwashed.” Despite his efforts, opposition to Common Core remained strong. Nearly a quarter of a million public school students refused to take Common Core tests, and New York became a scene of the largest “opt-out movement” in the country.

Promoting King to U.S. Secretary of Education will have a negative effect on the progress states have made away from Common Core since Arne Duncan’s resignation. An outspoken proponent of student data tracking, King is known for his support of failed data hubs (such as inBloom) which compromise the safety and privacy of personal student information. Parents and educators should be concerned for his possible data-tracking policies at a national level.

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New York’s own state Assemblyman Raymond Walter describes King as “somebody who doesn’t listen to teachers, doesn’t listen to parents, and pushes his own agenda.”

We agree. We urge parents—whether they are homeschoolers, public schoolers, or private schoolers—to oppose John King Jr.’s nomination for U.S. Secretary of Education.

To find out more about why HSLDA opposes Common Core, please visit www.hslda.org/commoncore.

United in Opposition

It is important to note that this is not a Republican or Democrat issue. Education experts and analysts on both sides of the aisle have noted King’s inflexibility, inefficiency, and lack of approachability. Analysts from the Washington Post, Salon, and The Nation, along with commentator Michelle Malkin (among many others), have denounced his leadership style, pleading for the American people to look out for their rights.

Ultimately, politics doesn’t belong in the classroom. Parents and educators should feel free to do what is best for children, without fear of political backlash.

Thank you for speaking up and standing with us for liberty!

Sincerely,

Mike Smith
President, HSLDA


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