ALBANY, N.Y. – New York's largest teachers union is calling the way children are being taught in school this year a "train wreck" and that has them calling for the state's education commissioner to step down.
The criticism is the result of a NYSUT board meeting in New York City on Saturday. The union gave a unanimous "no confidence" vote in the work of the Education Commissioner John King, and his work on the new Common Core standards.
King has been the face of the Common Core in New York and with that, has come a barrage of criticism from administrators, teachers, students and most recently, state lawmakers. The tougher standards were supposed to improve the quality of a student's education. King has repeatedly come to its defense but many say it's just not working.
"Standards don't help kids learn better," explained Meredith Gavin, a mother who said she's seen the problems associated with the rollout of the Common Core firsthand with her 10 year old son.
Gavin points the finger directly at Commissioner King. The state's largest teachers union has been an outspoken critic as well. In a statement they said "Delegates to New York State United Teachers' 42nd Representative Assembly today voted "no confidence" in the policies of State Education Commissioner John King Jr. and called for his immediate removal by the Board of Regents."
Gavin said the statement sends a strong message.
"They finally were able to unite as one and stand up for our children and say you've got to go," said Gavin.
"In a unanimous voice vote, the nearly 3,000 delegates also formally withdrew the union's support for the Common Core standards as interpreted and implemented in New York State and, in a separate resolution, supported the rights of parents and guardians to opt their children out of high-stakes tests," said NYSUT.
While the union is making its opinions known, the future of the Common Core and King remains in the hands of the Board of Regents.
The State Education Department Responded and said "This is just union politics as usual. Commissioner King remains focused on improving our schools to ensure every student can build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in college and a career."