Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Albany Pols Set To Impose So-Called Accountability Measures On Teachers - Where Is The Accountability For Them?

Governor Cuomo thinks there's not enough accountability for teachers and is pushing a "reform agenda" that looks to impose more - including linking 50% of a teacher's rating to test scores and forcing districts to bring in outside observers for classroom observations.

State Senate Republicans and their Independent Democratic Conference allies are expected to go along with Cuomo's plan, but Democrats and some Republicans in the Assembly were expected to mount an opposition to Cuomo's plan and fight it.

Alas, that was before the US Attorney Preet Bharara arrested Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges and threw the whole new legislative session into disarray.

In the last week Assembly Dems have been trying to rid themselves of Silver and get themselves a new speaker - something that seemed to have been finalized when it was reported that Shelly Silver would resign as speaker on Monday and Dems would hold a vote to elect a new speaker (expected to be Bronx Party boss Carl Heastie) a few hours later.

But now even that plan seems in jeopardy, as the NY Times published a look at Heastie that suggests he's got ethics issues of his own and was investigated by the Moreland Commission for his per diem expenses before it was shut down by Governor Cuomo in return for an on-time budget deal from Silver and State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

On top of that, WNBC 4 and the NY Post both reported that the US Attorney's office is investigating Dean Skelos for his outside income - the same issue that brought down Silver - and the second-in-command in the State Senate, Tom Libous, is under indictment for lying to the FBI.

It has further been reported that the US Attorney's office is investigating Governor Cuomo's sudden shut down of the Moreland Commission in return for a budget deal and while there has been no indication whether Cuomo is in Bharara's sights for corruption the way these legislators are, we do know that Cuomo had the Moreland Commission "pull back" subpoenas to his own donors when they were still investigating matters, so if the US Attorney's office picked up that string of investigation, Cuomo may be facing two separate criminal investigations (one for conspiracy for helping Silver and possibly Skelos cover up their crimes by shutting down Moreland, the second for covering up and obstructing investigations into his own donors.)

The politicians all talk about holding teachers and schools accountable while they steal themselves to satiation, gobble up millions in outside income, campaign donations, etc. in order to enrich themselves and enlarge their campaign war chests - all to maintain their power and privilege and impose their own agendas (really the agendas of their wealthy, powerful donors) on the people of the state.

Only in Governor Andrew Cuomo's New York can so many politicians either already under indictment for corruption or under investigation for said corruption talk with a straight face about holding other people accountable.

14 comments:

  1. RBE,
    Don't you think it's amazing that you, as well as others, can write about what's obviously happening in Albany, until you are blue in the face. The reality is that not too many people truly care to change anything. You have been writing about Cuomo for years. You will write about Cuomo for the next several as well. He's got 4 more years to ruin education. His agendas will push forward, no doubt. You guys can write all you want. What could be more effective is to set a Date and Time to assemble with the UFT and really be visual at a specific location while putting out a press release for media coverage. At that point, at least it will reach the masses rather than a blog (which is very informative, but limited).

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    1. I'm under no illusion about the power or influence of the blog posts here at Perdido Street School, but I would note that with Silver already arrested and stripped of power, Skelos reportedly under investigation as well and Cuomo reported to be in fear over where Bharara is going next, the story of Albany corruption has gone far and wide outside the blogosphere.

      You don't think Cuomo's plan to ruin education is already in jeopardy, given the Silver arrest, the report on Skelos and the report that Cuomo's in fear for himself?

      Bharara arrested Silver the day after the budget/state of the state speech - that was NO accident.

      No one was talking Cuomo's ed plans next day - they were talking Silver and what comes next in the Assembly.

      When announcing the arrest, Bharara was quite critical of the Albany political structure and then mocked the whole "Three Men In A Room" thing later.

      I'd say the chances of there being another blockbuster arrest/indictment BEFORE the budget deal is pretty good.

      That may be Skelos, that may be Heastie - hell, it may even be Cuomo.

      With the leak about Skelos, I'm now starting to think Bharara plans on taking out two of the three men in the room and either politically hobbling the third or taking him out too.

      That's why I keep hitting on the corruption/Cuomo angle.

      It's big and the story's not over yet.

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    2. I agree with you, in upstate NY these policies are poison and the MS papers (LoHud & Herald Record) have written scathing articles about the wrongheadedness of Cuomo's education policies and wide spread corruption in Albany & Cuomo's administration (http://tinyurl.com/ltd8kah , http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/01/28/gov-cuomo-reforms-herald-attack-public-schools and http://recordonline.com/article/20141028/NEWS/141029421 via @recordonline among many.

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    3. Yes, LoHud in particular. Good to see that - it matters.

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  2. I think blogs like this are important because they reveal truths that a lot of people are not aware of. Change, unfortunately, comes slowly. Look how well vastly underfunded candidates Teachout and Hawkins did in the past elections. Cuomo's support has badly eroded and people like RBE need to keep on pushing and informing people.

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    1. Every little bit helps - Internet is mostly preaching to the already-converted, but if I reach even a handful of the unconverted, I feel like I'm helping.

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  3. Mulgrew sent out a massive "Action" email this morning to all UFT members. This is going down!!! Teachers shd be marching in Albany on a particular day over the Feb break. Wake up and set a date when we're all off that week!

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  4. A great post, as usual.

    My only quibble is about Cuomo and the state legis-critters (and their patrons/funders) is about them "steal(ing) themselves to satiation."

    That's impossible: these people and the system they shill for are insatiable.

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    1. It's a good point, Michael - never enough money or power for these people.

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  5. Make no mistake the UFT does not feel threatened by Cuomo. This is a charade to quiet critics, show strength and scare dissenters into submission. They fight those they should ignore and ignore those they should fight.

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    1. Agree 100%. No better way to quiet critics than to declare a big bad monster (who you just happen to be working with) on the loose.

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    2. Yeah, it's a pony show the UFT are putting on. We'll see if the US Attorney's office is putting on a similar show or if they're really going after Cuomo. More and more speculation that's what's going down:

      http://perdidostreetschool.blogspot.com/2015/02/fred-lebrun-andrew-cuomo-has-been-in.html

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  6. RBE,
    You're certainly right about the other Bronx Pol, Jeff Klein. I've worked with him. He's a tremendous advocate of charters and would live to end public schools. He's a real POS. Lives a few blocks from me in the Throggs Neck section of Bronx. He has several girlfriends. His wife is clueless.

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    1. Can't speak to the several girlfriends thing, but he's definitely sleazy. Check out the organized crime connections this dude's got:

      http://perdidostreetschool.blogspot.com/2014/07/independent-democrat-jeff-klein-is.html

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