Thus he said the following today when asked about CCSS at a regional budget presentation in Rochester that saw parents and children outside protesting the Common Core:
“The Common Core is being implemented by something called the Board of Regents,” Cuomo said. “The Board of Regents supervises something called the state Education Department People think the governor is in charge of the state Education Department. It sounds that way… You would think the governor is in charge of the state Education Department. Actually, I’m not, I have nothing to do with it. The Board of Regents supervises the state Education Department and I don’t appoint anyone to the Board of Regents, either. So I’m sort of where the parent is standing outside with the sign. I would hold the same basic sign that the parent is holding.”
“I think the way they have implemented Common Core has failed utterly,” he said. “There is massive confusion, massive anxiety and massive chaos all across the state. It may have been a good idea, but it has to be a good idea that is done properly. And this was not done properly.”
Now Governor Cuomo has done everything he can through his budget to make sure the Board of Regents and the State Education Department implement his education reform agenda.
He has provided millions for Common Core professional development for teachers, he forced districts to evaluate teachers using the CCSS tests and other assessments or lose some state aid, and he gave SED Commissioner John King the power to impose a teacher evaluation system onto NYC teachers when the union and the city couldn't come to an agreement in negotiations.
While the teacher evaluation system is not directly related to Common Core (a point Cuomo likes to make over and over as he shills for his APPR teacher evaluation system), the reality is that the teacher evaluation system, the CCSS tests, the Common Core standards themselves and the data collection program known as inBloom that will collect all the student data from the districts for K-12 (and possibly beyond) all go together as one big education reform agenda which is Andrew Cuomo's education reform agenda.
He has hawked this agenda in his State of the State speeches, he has promoted this agenda in his state budgets, and he has worked together with SED Commissioner King to warn anybody in the state that doesn't go along with the state education reform agenda that dissent will not be tolerated (see here and here).
Cuomo can make believe like he has nothing to do with this reform agenda, he can make like he never promoted CCSS or pushed to have teachers evaluated via the CCSS tests in his APPR teacher evaluation system, he can make believe he has nothing to do with the state's education policy at all.
But the parents out there protesting CCSS will not be fooled by his attempts at sleight of hand - many know who has been helping to push Common Core on the state, who is making sure that teachers are evaluated with tests scores taken from the CCSS tests taken by children who have yet to have been taught much of the CCSS because teachers haven't been given CCSS curriculum yet.
They know he attacked the Board of Regents when they attempted a very lightweight revision to their reform agenda.
They know he threatened to shove Common Core down Regents Chancellor Tisch's throat if she couldn't get the implementation right.
They know the SED/Regents reform agenda that Cuomo is trying to distance himself from now is his agenda.
As I wrote in a post earlier this month:
Since it was Governor Cuomo who rigged the CCSS panel full of CCSS supporters who are sure to reaffirm NY State's commitment to CCSS while offering mostly meaningless compromises to CCSS critics and opponents, I propose we rename the Common Core State Standards the "Common Cuomo Core New York State Standards."
After all, these will be his standards, imposed through his budget, reaffirmed through his CCSS panel, and forced onto teachers through his APPR teacher evaluation system.
He cannot run from it, the text from his State of the State speeches exists, the budget deals pushing CCSS and APPR remain in effect.
Cuomo OWNS Common Core in NY State and he OWNS the rest of the SED/Regents reform agenda as well.