King was asked about the city’s proposed teachers contract after speaking at an education conference Thursday in Harlem. That talk came one day after a speech where King attributed the pronounced segregation in New York City’s schools partly to its enrollment policies.
On Thursday, he didn’t comment on the many teacher evaluation changes embedded in the contract deal, including one that would allow certain teachers to appeal poor ratings when they are based partly on the scores of students they didn’t teach. King, a staunch proponent of tying teacher evaluations to student test scores, will have to sign off on the evaluation changes.
King spoke at length in defense of the Common Core learning standards during a panel discussion at the conference, which was hosted by Schools that Can, a national nonprofit that helps district, charter, and independent schools collaborate.
At one point, when assessing different arguments that he has heard educators make against the Common Core, he noted that some say the standards exceed students’ intellectual capabilities at certain ages.
“Sometimes I feel like ‘developmentally inappropriate’ is being used as a euphemism for ‘harder,’” he said.
Some Twitter users seized on that comment. The user @perdidostschool, for instance, turned it on the state’s Common Core curriculum materials: “‘Rigor’” is often a euphemism for poorly-written EngageNY modules,” the tweet read.
Luckily for King, if not his critics, he also said during the talk that he tries to avoid checking his Twitter account too often.
“There are angry tweets sometimes,” he said. “I try not to look at those, because they’re disturbing sometimes.”