In one of his most dramatic moves since taking office, Gov. Cuomo will use the budget he makes public tomorrow to impose union-hated teacher evaluation systems on 700 school districts throughout the state, The Post has learned.
The popular governor will do so by including language in the budget that ties receipt of 4 percent state aid increases promised to the districts in last year’s budget — some $800 million — to adoption of the teacher-evaluation system developed by the state Education Department, which has been blocked from city schools by a teachers-union lawsuit, a source close to the situation said.
All the systems, including the New York City schools, will have until Dec. 31 of this year to adopt the teacher-evaluation systems or lose the money, the source said.
Cuomo’s tactic will be based on a controversial set of Court of Appeals rulings that date from 1998 to 2004, finding that governors could change state laws and, in effect, adopt new ones by including language to do so within the budget.
“Shelly and the teachers union will likely go ballistic,’’ was how one source close to the Cuomo administration put it about the governor’s plan, referring to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), a teachers-union ally.
Notice three things here.
First, Cuomo is back in Rupert Murdoch's good graces now that's he returned to union-busting and teacher bashing.
Last week Murdoch nicknamed Governor 1% "Chicken Cuomo" for failing to impose a test score-based teacher evaluation system on teachers like Bloomberg wants.
But now that Cuomo's doing Murdoch's bidding on education reform once again, Post reporter Fred Dicker is back to slobbering all over Cuomo in the newspaper, writing about how "popular" the governor is and helping the governor by attacking Cuomo's enemies in the paper.
Also notice the preliminary strikes Cuomo lobs against both Assembly Speaker Silver and Senate Majority Leader Skelos as teachers unions shills through Dicker.
Cuomo is serving notice that he's going to smear anybody who stands in his way of his corporate education reform agenda as "harming the kids" or shilling for the unions - even though common sense says pushing through a massive new evaluation system that imposes new city and state standardized tests in every subject at every grade level might just be, you know, an idea that should be slow-walked.
But not in Governor 1%'s mind - state and city tests in every subject in every grade and teacher evals tied to those scores - that's just the ticket to improve public education in the state.
Last point - notice how Dicker changes the phrasing of Cuomo's "I'm going to be the chief lobbyist for students" from last week's State of the State speech to "Cuomo is the chief advocate for students."
A Siena poll released today showed people didn't like that term or idea - too close to the phrase "corporate lobbyist," I guess.
So leave it to Fred Dicker and the Murdoch Post to rebrand Cuomo "Chief Advocate."
Cuomo's a chief advocate all right - for the interests of the Gates Foundation, the Broad Foundation, Pearson Education, and News Corporation.
When this new evaluation system goes into place, it will be interesting to see how parents in places like Scarsdale and Great Neck react to it.
Remember, this is a value-added system - teachers MUST add value to every student's test scores, even the high-scoring ones in Scarsdale and Great Neck.
The chaos that we have in New York City with school closures and firings and the like - that's going to come to Great Neck, Scarsdale and other wealthy suburbs too.
Not to mention all those new standardized tests they're going to add into all the subject in all the grades.
What will Cuomo's poll numbers look like after a year where parents see new city and state standardized tests added to every subject in every grade and teachers doing nothing but test prep for all these tests because if they don't "add value" to the scores, they're going to be rated "ineffective," humiliated in the local papers when they publish the individual teacher scores, and eventually fired?