A Tribute to Education Commissioner John King

December 12, 2014

As my previous posts on the man were somewhat critical of Commissioner King, in the interest of fairness and presenting an alternative point of view, I offer here this wonderful piece of writing by NYC based testing expert Fred Smith.

John King who taught for three entire years.

John King who taught for three entire years.

A Tribute to Education Commissioner John King

By guest blogger Fred Smith

I had actually forgotten about Commissioner John King’s background—an African-American and Puerto Rican, who lost both parents at an early age. He went on to earn degrees from Harvard, Yale and Columbia. It is a story that precedes and follows and precedes his remarkable ascending trajectory as an educational leader.

To my shame, until he announced his resignation this week, I hadn’t much thought back on King’s stirring account of a young life nurtured by the teachers he had and the public schools he attended. He has often spoken about them, how they saved him and lifted him—an example to inspire others.

What has gone untold, in part because of John King’s self-effacing nature, are historical details of other important influences that molded him into the courageous, emancipating, philosophical shining light he has increasingly become. Despite his humility, DNA evidence confirms the following facts that offer further insight into Dr. King’s legendary career and destiny, if you will.

There is proof that King and Abraham Lincoln are related. No doubt this has motivated his visionary policies, which seek equity for all God’s children. The blood of Davy Crockett also courses in King’s veins (although he jokes that he never kilt him a b’ar when he was only three) Perhaps, this explains why the Commissioner feels so strongly that commitment to the Common Core is a patriotic duty.

I’m somewhat skeptical about the veracity of two other DNA-based claims but find them fascinating to ponder. It appears that John King and Socrates have profiles that match—this according to 2,400-year old samples taken from the original critical thinker’s toga. And going further into antiquity there are findings that trace the Commissioner’s lineage back to King Tut, a kind of scientific symmetry linking the two boy Kings.

So, I bow down to and salute John King as he moves on to the U.S. Department of Education and goes from strength to strength.


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