John B. King, Jr. Selected as The Next Secretary of Education –
President Obama has selected Deputy Education Secretary John B. King Jr. to replace Arne Duncan who will be stepping down in December. King is a former New York state education commissioner. John King, Jr. has both an inspirational personal story and a record of controversy in what’s become a national debate over the Common Core learning standards.
At age 40, John King Jr. will become one of the youngest Cabinet members in American history. He’s been deputy U.S. education secretary since January, after serving as education commissioner in New York.
King grew up in Brooklyn, the son of two educators. But both parents died by the time he was 12, and King described a chaotic life of bouncing between relatives. In a Huffington Post essay, he credited public school teachers, particularly at P.S. 276 in Canarsie and Mark Twain junior high in Coney Island, with helping him stay on track.
Despite being kicked out of a prestigious prep school, King managed to get into Harvard. It was there that he developed a passion for education while volunteering at an after-school program in a Boston public housing project. He later taught high school social studies in Boston and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and earned degrees from Yale Law School and Columbia University’s Teachers College (a master’s and a doctorate in educational administrative practice).
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