New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee in an interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom knocked Cuomo and his administration for withholding the school aid runs — a line-by-line accounting how much school districts are projected to receive in the budget proposal traditionally released when the spending plan is announced — because much of the $1.1 billion spending increase is tied to the governor’s reforms.
“The governor has declared a war,” Magee said. “He’s declared a war on every single teacher in New York state.”
It’s potentially problematic for school districts considering they have to have their budgets before voters in May; the state’s budget is due March 31.
“It just again tells you the governor doesn’t understand how the school districts work,” she said.
“It’s criminal for the governor to try to strong-arm his agenda through this way,” Magee added.
Strong words from Magee - all well and good.
Now she should back those strong words up with a barrage of ads telling New Yorkers what will happen if Cuomo gets to tie 50% of teacher evaluations to student test scores.
She can start that process by running an ad featuring Sheri Lederman, the award-winning teacher who was rated "ineffective" by NYSED on her test component via their value-added algorithm even though Lederman's students all passed their state tests and scored well above the state average.
She can tell New Yorkers that Lederman is suing the State Education Department over this rating and that so far, NYSED has been unable to provide an explanation for why Lederman was rated "ineffective" even though her students passed the state tests with scores well above the state average.
She can note that if Cuomo gets his way, many more teachers will be rated "ineffective" via an inscrutable NYSED value-added measurement algorithm that nobody from SED or the Regents seems able to explain.
And she can end the ad with Lederman's principal telling New Yorkers that if Cuomo gets his way on the rating reforms, one more "ineffective" rating on the inscrutable, unexplainable NYSED VAM will have Lederman fired and her students losing a highly effective, well-respected teacher.
Strong words on an NPR radio show are one thing.
Backing those strong words up with an effective PR campaign to alert the public to what Cuomo is doing and what the consequences will be if he gets his way is something else.
Strong words from the union president without the effective PR campaign that seeks to win the public over are, in the end, meaningless.