Students have a new representative in Albany: Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Right now, Cuomo is delivering his second State of the State address today, titled “Building a New New York … with you.”
Education issues account for one and a half of the speech’s 33 pages of prepared remarks. As expected, the governor is calling for an education commission to propose reforms to the state’s education system. That commission will look for ways to boost “teacher accountability and student achievement” and “management efficiency” — both topics Cuomo targeted during his first address a year ago — and will work with the legislature.
He’s also appointing himself chief lobbyist for students, calling them the only group in schools that don’t employ lobbyists of their own.
“This year, I will take a second job — consider me the lobbyist for the students,” he says in the prepared remarks, which he has been known to depart from. “I will wage a campaign to put students first, and to remind us that the purpose of public education is to help children grow, not to grow the public education bureaucracy.”
If Cuomo REALLY wants a commission that will look out for students interests, he'd put students on the panel, parents on the panel, education experts who have not been bought off by Pearson and News Corp. and McGraw-Hill and Microsoft/Gates.
If Cuomo REALLY wanted to look out for the interests of children, he'd ask them if they want to take both city and state tests in every subject four times a year (a total of 20 standardized tests) so that their teachers and schools can be evaluated using these scores and Cuomo's corporate buddies can rake in the dough.
If Cuomo REALLY cared about kids, he'd make sure there was enough funding for all children in NY State to eat healthy food, live in a neighborhood safe from crime, go to schools with adequate funding that could be used IN the classroom as opposed to hiring consultants and developing data systems.
But Cuomo is NOT interested in that.
He is interested in helping out his corporate buddies finish off the Shock and Awe they've been doing on the public education system for the last ten years since NCLB.
He is interested in making money for his best buddy, Rupert Murdoch.
He is interested in adding tests to every subject at every grade level a couple of times a year so he can make money for his buddies at Pearson and he is looking to track that data so he can make money for his buddies at News Corp. using systems owned by Rupert Murdoch and he is interested in closing schools that are supposedly "failing" so that his charter school pals can reopen them as privatized charters and he is interested in firing teachers using test scores and value-added assessments to ease the Brave New Education System - one where students are educated in privatized schools by a teacher in a remote place over computer - into being.
That is what he is interested in.