I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Dr. John King, our newest Deputy Commissioner in NY, over the weekend at the New York State Teacher Center’s Fall Focus in Albany.
In a nutshell:
- He LOVED being a teacher.
- He is looking forward to the continuing challenge to make schools nurturing, challenging and engaging.
- He wants us to think about how to build an excellent curriculum, top it off with good professional development and then think about an assessment system that complements the curriculum and professional development. Too often we think about teaching to the assessment as the lone strategy.
- He briefly discussed the needs of our 21st Century Learners. Why not have classes around Economics, Arts, Technology that part of our mission of a laser-like focus to make teaching and learning better?
- He believes that data is not to sort kids, but rather using it for US to get better.
- He referenced the national standards movement. He said that we may not adopt the common core standards, but it is very important for us to be a part of that conversation. He wants to make sure that the adoption of the standards would raise the rigor. I did not know this but the intent of adoption means if we adopt the standards that would only be 85% of our standards. Our state would then add some to that (15% more).
I am thinking that this is the first time that I regret forgetting to take a pad of paper with me. He was inspiring, and I continue to be excited about education with someone at the lead who cares so much about student learning!