Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Andrew Cuomo Owns This Common Core Mess In NY State

Fred LeBrun knocked it out of the park with this piece from Sunday, calling Commissioner John King the least trusted man in Albany.

It's a must read, so head over there if you haven't seen it.

I found the parts about Cuomo most interesting.

LeBrun wrote:

There are signs that the governor, who has a finely tuned ear for shifts in the murmurs of the masses, is getting nervous over the growing din of negative public reaction. He's beginning to distance himself from the monster he helped to create.

Remember, this is the governor who derailed what would have been a far more incremental and orderly acceptance of the national Common Core curriculum favored by a broad range of the educational community, preferring a radical, hurry up, throw-them-into-the-deep-end-of-the-pool strategy that was supposed to establish his national credentials as someone who could make things happen on demand. Well, he did. Now, New York and Kentucky are prime examples for how to most profoundly screw up implementing the new national standards.

There are calls for King's resignation, since he arguably isn't up to the task. Then again, he isn't really calling the shots or setting the policy.


At the same news conference referenced earlier, the governor was asked if King should resign. He gave two answers that are at odds with each other and surely hint at a disengagement. At first he said, ''No, I don't think he should resign." Then he said, ''I don't think it's my place to say he should resign or he should stay. I don't appoint him, as you know. Not my place."

This from the governor who has done nothing but meddle and manipulate public school policy, and those who run it, since he took office. Again, remember, he loudly proclaimed himself to be the champion of the children of the state because they needed one.

For King, there is still opportunity for redemption if he actually listens and absorbs the criticisms and comments he will encounter by the bushel in his listening tour. News that he is looking to scale back some tests is a start. But, without abandoning the goal of higher standards in our schools — which is laudable — a complete redo of how Common Core should be implemented is called for, including a slowed-down timetable. If that doesn't happen, there's trouble ahead. And the governor knows it.

When he was asked if he thought the State Education Department was really listening to the concerns of teachers and parents, he said tellingly, "I don't know. I don't know," with the clear implication that they had better.

Cuomo owns this mess and he knows it - that's why he's trying to distance himself from it as much as he can.

But he's the one who declared himself the "lobbyist" for students, he's the one who pushed through APPR, he's the one who chaired the education commission that is set to recommend even more education reforms for the state even though the first slate of them - the Common Core/teacher evaluation reforms - are a mess.

The revolution against Cuomo's education reforms is bubbling up around him and starting to come to a boil.

Cuomo is not unaware of that, and as I have said before, he'll turn his back both on King and this education reform agenda if the opposition from parents gets loud enough.

Cuomo loves to smear teachers as "special interests," but unlike King, he's not going to go so far as to call parents "special interests."

That would lose him a lot of votes and he knows it.

But he also knows that if King and Tisch can't put down the Common Core/APPR rebellion around the state, he may lose a lot of votes anyway because of this ed deform agenda of his.

Not enough to lose his 2014 re-election, but certainly enough to put his 2016 presidential ambitions in jeopardy.

He's in trouble over this agenda, and arrogant and deluded as he is, I think he knows it.

Couple the ed reform mess with the Moreland Commission mess and the anger over his refusal to take a stand on fracking one way or the other, and a portrait of a troubled Cuomo governorship is taking shape before our eyes.

A few years ago, 89% approval ratings and what looked like clear sailing to 2016.

Now troubled waters and no Billy Joel sailboat to help him to shore...

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