In an interview that will air on Capital Tonight this evening, state Education Commissioner John King shrugged off the news that NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi plans to ask his Board of Directors for a no confidence vote on King’s leadership, saying that in his opinion, the teachers union’s real beef appears to be with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature.

King argued that what NYUST is really after is a renegotiation of the teacher performance evaluation deal struck in 2012, and not a delay of the implementation of the Common Core curriculum.

“I understand Mr. Iannuzzi is under a lot of internal pressure; I understand that may lead to attacking me,” King told me earlier today. “But it strikes me that that the real dispute he has is the with the governor and the Legislature.”

“I know he expressed his disappointment with the governor’s State of the State for not backing down on the evaluation law on which we all agreed,” the commissioner continued. “So, the question really for NYSUT is: They’re committed to the Common Core, they’re comitted to the evaluation system; they have to explain why they think we should change the evaluation that we all agreed to that we all believed is in the interest of students.”

Technically speaking, Iannuzzi expressed dismay during a CapTon education roundtable that the governor did not address the Common Core issue in his State of the State address. But the two issues really are inextricably linked, since the union is seeking a three-year moratorium on using Common Core test results in the performance evaluation process.

During his interview, King reiterated his support of the Common Core and again rejected the idea of a moratorium, calling it a “distraction.” He said a subcommittee tapped by Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch to review the curriculum’s implementation will likely report back with suggested changes – should it determine any are needed – sometime in February.

Iannuzzi told me on CapTon last night that if the Board of Directors approves his request for a no confidence vote in King – apparently the first time in its history the union has made such a move – then the motion will be put to the NYSUT representative assembly in April. The only way a vote could be avoided, according to Iannuzzi, would be if King relents on the moratorium question before the spring.

You can watch my full interview with King at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. tonight.

Watch Here >> (TWC ID required)
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