Commissioner John B. King, Jr. was appointed Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York (USNY) in May 2011. USNY comprises more than 7,000 public and independent elementary and secondary schools; 270 public, independent and proprietary colleges and universities; 7,000 libraries; 900 museums; 25 public broadcasting facilities; 3,000 historical repositories; 436 proprietary schools; 52 professions encompassing more than 850,000 licensees plus 240,000 certified educators; and services for children and adults with disabilities.
As Commissioner of Education and President of USNY, Commissioner King has worked with the Board of Regents to pursue an ambitious education reform agenda. In the past three years, New York has become a national leader in implementing Common Core standards. The state's educator engagement site, called EngageNY.org, has had over 74 million page views by educators throughout the state and country who want to learn more about Common Core implementation and access the state's Common Core curriculum modules and videos. Through Race to the Top funding, network teams were launched in every region of the state and in every large district to provide training and embedded support to educators around implementation of the Common Core and the resources on EngageNY.org. In 2013, New York became one of the first states in the country to administer exams that measure whether students are meeting Common Core standards.
In partnership with Governor Cuomo, the legislature, and the statewide teachers union, Commissioner King and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) have worked to develop and implement a comprehensive new teacher and leader evaluation system, which for the first time incorporates student learning growth. To support this work, Commissioner King championed the creation of the Strengthening Teacher and Leader Effectiveness (STLE) grants program that funds school districts in utilizing a comprehensive approach to recruitment, development, support, retention and equitable distribution of effective teachers and school leaders. NYSED also revamped its school and district diagnostic tools and evaluations, making them more rigorous, comprehensive, and aligned with other parts of the reform agenda.
During his tenure, Commissioner King has increased collaboration between P-12 schools and New York institutions of higher education, including strengthening teacher and principal preparation, raising the bar for teacher and principal certification, and creating partnerships to expand the state's P-20 data system. Under Commissioner King's leadership, NYSED has also strengthened its approach to charter authorizing by launching a more rigorous Request for Proposals process for new schools and increasing accountability for existing schools.
As a part of broader measures to ensure that the state's rich historical and educational resources are fully shared with the public, in 2012 Commissioner King led efforts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation by organizing a statewide tour of the only surviving version of the document in President Lincoln's handwriting.
Before becoming Commissioner, Commissioner King served as Senior Deputy Commissioner for P-12 Education at NYSED. In that role, Commissioner King coordinated the development of New York State's successful Race to the Top application, which earned the second highest point total of the winning states in Round 2 and secured $696.6 million to support the P-12 education reform agenda of the Board of Regents.
Commissioner King brings to his role extensive experience leading urban public schools that are closing the achievement gap and preparing students to enter, succeed in, and graduate from college. Prior to his appointment as Senior Deputy Commissioner, Commissioner King served as a Managing Director with Uncommon Schools, a non-profit charter management organization that operates some of the highest performing urban public schools in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Prior to joining Uncommon Schools, Commissioner King was a Co-Founder and Co-Director for Curriculum & Instruction of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School. Under his leadership, Roxbury Prep's students attained the highest state exam scores of any urban middle school in Massachusetts, closed the racial achievement gap, and outperformed students from not only the Boston district schools but also the city's affluent suburbs. Prior to founding Roxbury Prep, Commissioner King taught high school social studies in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Boston, Massachusetts.
Commissioner King earned a B.A. in Government from Harvard University, an M.A. in the Teaching of Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an Ed.D. in Educational Administrative Practice from Teachers College, Columbia University. Commissioner King was a 1995 Truman Scholar and received the James Madison Memorial Fellowship for secondary level teaching of American history, American government, and social studies. In February 2011, Commissioner King was appointed by U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan to serve on the U.S. Department of Education's Equity and Excellence Commission. In addition, Commissioner King has served on the board of New Leaders for New Schools and is a 2008 Aspen Institute-New Schools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellow.
Commissioner King's address:
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234