John King (New York)

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John King
John King NY.jpg
New York Commissioner of Education
In office
June 15, 2011 - present
Years in position 4
PredecessorDavid Steiner
Base salary$212,500
Elections and appointments
AppointedMay 16, 2011
Appointed byNew York State Board of Regents
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sHarvard University
Master'sTeachers College, Columbia University
J.D.Yale Law School
Ph.D.Teachers College, Columbia University
Place of birthBrooklyn, New York
Office website
John King is the New York Commissioner of Education. He has served in this position since June 15, 2011.[1]
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Prior to his appointment as Commissioner of Education, King served as Senior Deputy Commissioner for P-12 Education at the New York State Education Department for two years. Before that he was a education leader, founding and leading urban public schools. This included serving as a Managing Director with Uncommon Schools, a non-profit charter management organization. He was Co-Founder and Co-Director for Curriculum and Instruction of Roxbury Preparatory Charter School.[2]


  • B.A. in Government, Harvard University
  • M.A. in the Teaching of Social Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • J.D., Yale Law School
  • Ed.D. in Educational Administrative Practice from Teachers College, Columbia University

Political career

New York Commissioner of Education (2009-present)

Steiner has served as New York Commissioner of Education since June 15, 2011.

Common Core

King supports the adoption and implementation of the Common Core education standards in New York, partially because of the federal money that it has brought to the state. The Poughkeepsie Journal reports that "King was a state senior deputy education commissioner when he coordinated the development of the state's Race to the Top application, bringing in nearly $700 million."[3] He also supports Common Core as a way to strengthen New York's economy by educating future workers to a higher standard.

Many of you have had the experience of interviewing candidates who struggle to communicate their ideas effectively. Common core tries to address that. Common core is about the ability to read and analyze what you read and use information from what you've read to argue for an idea or take some action, another skill that’s often lacking in employees.[4]

—John King, Remarks at a meeting of the Business Council of Westchester

Joining King in support of Common Core in New York, some business and higher education leaders are forming nonprofits to educate New York residents about the Common Core standards.[5] But their efforts are meeting opposition from some principals, educators and parents. This opposition is based on a wide-ranging variety of doubts: concerns about testing, evaluations, changes in educational culture and, specifically in New York, about the cost of contracts with Pearson Inc. to develop tests and course materials for grades three to eight.[3]



The New York State Board of Regents named King as New York Commissioner of Education and President of the University of the State of New York on May 16, 2011. King stated, "My life story is about the power of schools to shape lives, even against great odds. Through my experiences as a teacher, as a school leader, and as Senior Deputy Commissioner, working with superintendents, principals, and teachers across this state, I know that all of our schools can be places that ensure our children succeed."[2]

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Political offices
Preceded by
David Steiner
New York Commissioner of Education
Succeeded by