NY teachers vote ‘no confidence’ against state commissioner

Photo by Annette Konoske-Graf for Chalkbeat.

Chalkbeat New York posted news this weekend — by School Stories’ own Will Huntsberry and Annette Konoske-Graf — that the state teachers union passed a vote of no confidence against state education commissioner John King.

Dissatisfaction with Cuomo and State Education Commissioner John King were the overarching themes of NYSUT’s annual conference. The union followed through on months-old plans to issue a no-confidence vote in King because of the way he has handled the rollout of the evaluation rules and Common Core standards. The vote called for King’s “immediate” removal.

Among the demands laid out in the resolution against King, the union said it would not support the Common Core without significant changes to the state’s education policies. Legislators signed off on several of those changes last week — including a ban on using test scores to set student promotion rules and on allowing the state to feed student data into a shared database.

That vote, at the union’s annual conference, also included the unprecedented ouster of a sitting union president. The vote to remove Richard Iannuzzi, who has run New York State United Teachers since 2005, is an unprecedented move in the union’s 42-year history. That vote was largely organized by delegates from New York City’s own teachers union, Newsday reported ahead of the conference.

Absent from the conference? John King — though it seems his presence would have been equally awkward. “John King is the elephant who is not in the room,” said outgoing union vice president Maria Neira.

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