Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama
A passionate social justice and civil rights advocate and inspiring educator, John B. King Jr. is the tenth U.S. Secretary of Education and the CEO and President of the national nonprofit organization, The Education Trust, which seeks to close opportunity and achievement gaps for students of color and students living in poverty. Dr. King’s personal story is proof of the transformative power of an excellent education and great teachers. After losing his mother due to illness at age eight, school became a haven of stability and support that sustained Dr. King during his father’s struggle and death from Alzheimer’s disease. Parentless at age 12, Dr. King credits New York City public school teachers with saving his life and giving him hope for the future. Read More >
Building Equitable Systems of Education
The Importance of Civic Education
We Can Choose a Different Future
John B. King Jr. deeply believes, as President Obama once said, that “the future belongs to the nation that best educates its people.” Dr. King champions the idea that education is critical to expanding opportunity, growing a thriving economy, developing engaged citizens, and ensuring our nation’s prosperity. Read More >
Sharing a vision for both our nation’s schools and our country’s future, Dr. King takes a high-level look at some of the most compelling challenges facing our nation today, including: Read Less ^
According to Dr. King, “It’s not liberty when happenstance of birth binds a child to a life of limited possibilities. True liberty is being able to take our lives as far as our drive and talent allow. Preserving that birthright requires advocates of public education—including teachers, parents, business leaders, elected officials, and all of us to be a part of the solution.” A passionate believer that education is a ladder that helps people reach places that would otherwise be impossible to climb, Dr. King has made closing achievement and opportunity gaps a lifelong mission. Read More >
Dr. King provides insightful thoughts on: Read Less ^
John B. King Jr. knows firsthand what it means to be given a second chance (having been expelled from high school, but having put his life back on track with the support of educators and extended family), but sadly, so many students never receive a first chance. A movement for social justice must include an excellent and equitable public education for underserved students, including students of color and those from low-income backgrounds. A movement for social justice also must include actively listening to and working together with students and communities. Dr. King deeply understands many of the challenges that students face inside and outside of schools and campuses, as well as the necessary supports to help them reach their potential. Dr. King believes that housing, health care, criminal justice, and other social issues are inextricably linked with public education. Dr. King speaks poignantly about the need for local and national leaders to recognize the trauma, biases and barriers, and systemic injustices that can hinder student success. Read More >
Dr. King offers inspiring ideas on ways to build a real movement for educational justice, including: Read Less ^
As the son of career New York City public school educators, a former high school social studies teacher and a middle school principal, John B. King Jr. understands the power that teachers have to make a difference in students’ lives. By combining first-hand experience with the challenges that educators face with high-level perspectives on leadership and policy, Dr. King shares what it truly will take to elevate the teaching profession and attract and retain talented and diverse educators. Read More >
Dr. King shares actionable recommendations on: Read Less ^
"John King was absolutely wonderful. The audience seemed to really respond to his message.
People definitely stayed around to the end of the conference to hear him specifically, so I’m thrilled we were able to get him booked."
"Secretary King was an absolute pleasure to work with prior to and during our event. He was engaging, insightful, personable, and extremely well received by all. In particular, Secretary King made a genuine connection with our students and even stayed after the event to interact with the audience until the last person had departed. We would strongly recommend Secretary King for your next event."
"Dr. King’s speech was deeply engaging and inspiring, and participant feedback confirmed that it was one of the highlights of the day. Our team was able to listen to the speech and we were delighted with how well prepared Dr. King was; he demonstrated excellent knowledge of who was in the room, tailoring his remarks to the Connecticut context and the work of our partner organizations, as we had very much hoped he would do."