Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cuomo's Common Core/APPR Dilemma

Sheriff Andy got shrill with the Regents today over their announced changes to the state's ed reform agenda - particularly over the changes announced around teacher evaluations:

After the Regents approved an action plan for improving implementation of the Common Core standards, Cuomo honed in on a regulatory change that would temporarily cushion educators whose evaluations were negatively affected by low student scores on the more difficult tests.

“Today’s recommendations are another in a series of missteps by the Board of Regents that suggests the time has come to seriously reexamine its capacity and performance,” Cuomo said in the scathing statement. “These recommendations are simply too little, too late for our parents and students.

“As far as today's recommendations are concerned, there is a difference between remedying the system for students and parents and using this situation as yet another excuse to stop the teacher evaluation process,” Cuomo continued. “The Regents' response is to recommend delaying the teacher evaluation system and is yet another in a long series of roadblocks to a much needed evaluation system which the Regents had stalled putting in place for years.”

Why was Sheriff Andy so shrill?

Jessica Bakeman has some thoughts on the subject:

Capital has reported that the battle over Common Core implementation in New York creates a dilemma for Cuomo, which explains why he stayed out of the controversy as long as he could. If Cuomo blocks lawmakers' push for a moratorium, he'll be taking an unpopular position on a hotly debated topic in an election year. But if he allows it, he'll take the teeth out of his evaluation law, which he has touted as an example of his administration's ability to overhaul policy where bureaucracy and politics have often stalled progress.

The Regents' regulatory change could have been an out for Cuomo, allowing him to argue that the moratorium—which would require a change in state law—is unnecessary.


 Though Cuomo could have backed off, his statement Monday made it clear that he doesn't plan to.

“Common Core is the right goal and direction, as it is vital that we have a real set of standards for our students and a meaningful teacher evaluation system,” Cuomo said in the statement. “However, Common Core’s implementation in New York has been flawed and mismanaged from the start. I have created a commission to thoroughly examine how we can address these issues. The commission has started its work and we should await their recommendations so that we can find a legislative solution this session to solve these problems.”

Frankly it comes down to this - Cuomo wants to tout his APPR evaluation system as an accomplishment, wants to talk about how he's holding teachers accountable for their performance, but in order to do that, he needs the law to have teeth.

The Regents took a few teeth out of the law's choppers with their announcement today, and while it doesn't do as much damage to the evaluation system as Cuomo says in his statement, he's furious because it undercuts one of his "major accomplishments" as a centrist Dem holding lazy-ass bureaucrats and unionized government workers accountable.

He didn't want anything to do with the Common Core battles for months, but once the Regents announced a few prospective changes to APPR, he certainly came out of the woodwork to mount an opposition, didn't he?

In fact, he even threatened the Regents:

“Today’s recommendations are another in a series of missteps by the Board of Regents that suggests the time has come to seriously reexamine its capacity and performance."

That sure sounds like a threat, doesn't it?

It will be interesting to see what Cuomo does from here.

I hope he does go the mattresses over APPR - it's an unpopular system with not just many teachers but also many parents as well.

If he wants to go the mattresses over an unpopular system like APPR, go for it Sheriff Andy.

The shriller you get, the more it means APPR and the rest of your reform agenda is in trouble.


  1. I am THRILLED to see Andy picking this fight. It'll make it that much easier to publicly attach him tot his agenda.

    And what exactly is he getting at with that threat towards the regents?

    Wait until there are actually some real changes to this agenda. He'll go apoplectic!

    1. Looks like the Regents already caved to him:

      That didn't take long. Less than 24 hours.