Obama’s new education chief nods to public school teachers

President Barak Obama’s pick for Education Secretary paid tribute to New York city public school teachers at his Senate confirmation hearing on Thursday.

Dr. John King, Jr. said two New York City public school teachers “literally saved my life” after his mother died when he was eight years old and his father’s death four years later.

King began his career as a social studies teacher. He served as New York’s education commissioner before joining the Education Department in January 2015.

King is poised to oversee the new Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal law that rewrote the 2001 No Child Left Behind. Under the new act, student performance targets and interventions will be driven by states rather than the federal government. Read the Chicago Tribune’s profile of Dr. King here and see the full transcript of King’s confirmation hearing speech.

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