The Cuomo administration has sent a letter to Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and outgoing-Education Commissioner John King outlining the governor’s intention to make teacher reforms a top priority.
The letter from State Operations Director Jim Malatras also seems to bolster Cuomo’s controversial campaign season comments that he’d like to break up one of the last remaining public monopolies: public education.
“Several weeks ago Governor Cuomo said that improving education is thwarted by the monopoly of the education bureaucracy,” Malatras writes. “The education bureaucracy’s mission is to sustain the bureaucracy and the status quo and therefore it is often the enemy of change. The result is the current system perpetuates the bureaucracy, but fails our students in many ways.”
The monopoly busting plan is addressing the questions outlined in the letter, which include those about how the state’s current teacher evaluation is credible, how the administration would address the problem of removing poor-performing teachers and what Cuomo’s vision for charter schools is.
Here are some of the areas Cuomo suggests could see so-called reform or push in the next legislative season:
1. The evaluation system
2. The 3020a disciplinary process
3. The ATR pool in NYC
4. Teacher certification
5. Probationary period for teachers
6. Making it easy to close schools
7. Increase in charter schools, especially in NYC
8. Adding more technology to the system, including online classes
9. Consolidating districts
10. Reforming the Regents appontment process
11. Making the hiring of NYSED Commissioner King's replacement transparent
I'll have more later on this.
But suffice to say, there's a lot here that Cuomo says he wants to tackle.
Does he have the political juice to pull this kind of agenda off?
This is the kind of agenda you see from a governor with an 80% approval rating (like he had in the first term), not a governor who won re-election with the lowest totals of anyone since FDR.
So he can be beaten on a lot of this if the union leaders at the AFT, UFT and NYSUT actually decide to fight him.
But will they?