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Shelby Votes No on Obama Appointee

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, March 14, US Senator Richard Shelby voted against the confirmation of former New York Education Commissioner John King as the next US Secretary of Education.

Today I voted “no” on President Obama’s nomination of John King to be the next Secretary of Education. King is an adamant supporter of Common Core and I fear that he will work to advance the Obama Administration’s liberal agenda in our classrooms. I strongly oppose Common Core because I believe that education decisions should be made at a local level – not mandated by Congress.”

Commissioner King is widely despised by anti-Common Core parents and teachers in New York for his implementation of the controversial education standards.

Conservative commentator and writer Michelle Malkin wrote recently in Conservative Review: “Informed parents and teachers inside and outside of New York know King for his tyrannical support of the Common Core racket. In 2013, facing a grass-roots revolt across party lines, he cancelled a series of public forums on the national standards crafted behind closed doors by DC lobbyists, Big Business and front groups.”

New York state Assemblyman Raymond Walter (R-Amherst) summed up King’s tenure: “John King is more of the same. John King is somebody who doesn’t listen to teachers, doesn’t listen to parents, and pushes his own agenda.”

Senator Shelby is also an outspoken Common Core opponent

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In December, Sen. Shelby voted against ESSA because it did not repeal the controversial top down education standards. Shelby said in a statement then, “I have always believed that education decisions should be made at a local level and that Congress should empower parents and teachers – not Washington bureaucrats. Instead, this bill extends some of the same failed policies that could provide a path for top-down federal mandates like Common Core.”

Sen. Shelby said, “I know that local communities make better decisions for their students, parents, teachers, and administrators than Washington does. That is why I will continue to fight against bureaucratic red-tape and misguided policies like Common Core. It’s time to restore local control over our nation’s education system and get Washington out of our classrooms.”

Both US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and New York City billionaire businessman Donald Trump have said that they will repeal the unpopular Common Core standards if they are elected President. Both have also promised to abolish the US Department of Education.

The Alabama Senate is considering legislation, SB60, sponsored by Sen. Rusty Glover (R-Semmes), that would repeal the unpopular College and Career Ready Standards which are aligned with the Common Core. That legislation is however opposed by powerful business interests led by the Business Council of Alabama (BCA). Corporations supportive of the standards have poured millions into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the various state chambers and business councils to buy their support.

Despite Shelby’s opposition, GOP moderates joined with Democrats to confirm King by a vote of 49 to 40. King had been serving as the acting Secretary of Education since former Secretary Arne Duncan left at the end of 2015.

Senator Richard Shelby is running for his sixth term in the United States Senate. Shelby recently won 65 percent of the vote in a five way in the Alabama Republican Primary.


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Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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