With John King as SUNY chancellor, New York gets a solid force for excellence in education
Kudos to the State University of New York trustees (and Gov. Kathy Hochul, whom they surely consulted) for tapping John King as SUNY’s 15th chancellor. He should serve as a much-needed force for excellence at all levels in New York education.
And not just higher education: SUNY’s chancellor serves a vital role on public K-12 charter schools, making recommendations on granting new charters (and, where needed, revoking old ones).
That’s particularly important now. The other charter authorizer, the state Board of Regents, has become a force for mediocrity (or worse).
King has served admirably as US secretary of education from 2015 to 16 and New York education commissioner from 2011 to 14. He’s been a champion of high standards, but also of quality community-college education. And he’s already vowed to also bolster SUNY’s research institutions as part of his mission “to make the best public higher education system in the country.”
His record on charters is excellent. He co-founded Roxbury Prep, a top charter middle school in Massachusetts, and helmed Uncommon Schools, a network of nationally recognized charters. In 2011, he was inducted into the national Charter School Hall of Fame by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
And he’s warned that “arbitrary caps” on charters, like those now preventing the sector’s growth in New York City, “don’t make sense.“
We hope his appointment is a signal that Hochul is ready to lift those caps.
But for now, at least New York has at least one top education leader who believes both in high standards and in fostering success for children of all backgrounds and levels of ability.
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