A pro-charter parent group is calling on state leaders to reject the "defenders of the bureaucracy" by taking "bold" action to fix New York's broken education system.
Families for Excellent Schools, which was created in 2011 by several Wall Street bankers and other business leaders,, sent a letter Tuesday to Gov. Cuomo, Senate GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver that seeks to flip the argument made by anti-charter forces that the real problem with the system is the funding inequity between poor and rich schools.
The non-profit group's letter, which comes a day after several hundred public school parents, teacher union leaders and Democrat lawmakers rallied at the Capitol against charter schools and for more school funding, speaks of "unprecedented education suffering across New York State."
"What's worse, this is an education crisis that hurt sour highest-need students the most," the letter says. "Students from our inner cities, our students of color, our families near the poverty line."
"As Governor Cuomo said so eloquently in his inauguration address, public education in New York today has truly become the “great discriminator.” Our education system steals possibility from our young people every day. This cannot continue," the letter states. "The depth of the failing schools crisis requires bold, structural change at the state level. For decades, New York State has failed to deliver the substantive changes our students deserve."
Attacking anti-charter forces, the letter charges that "defenders of the bureaucracy will deny that our schools are failing or they will merely propose incremental changes that tinker at the edges of the problem: smaller class sizes, minutes added to the school day, and mandatory professional development. But incremental reform will not do. To fix a structurally broken system that for decades has failed to deliver for children will take more than a few tweaks."
What do these selfless advocates for the poor and powerless stuck in "failing" public schools want?
More school closures.
More charter schools.
Vouchers for private schools.
Fewer public schools.
Money taken from the public schools and given to charter schools.
In short, they want what Governor Cuomo wants - or perhaps I should say, Cuomo wants what they want since they own him after all they cash they've showered on him.
Want to bet the governor's State of the State address on January 21 shares some of the same rhetoric that this letter has in it?
Want to bet the governor's budget proposal gives the charter deformers exactly what they want?
Want to make a bet the teachers union leaders half-ass what is quickly becoming a fight to kill off public schools in New York State?
Think I'm being extreme in my rhetoric here?
The rhetoric out of Cuomo and his charter school donors/Wall Street owners is extreme without any gloss from me.
Cuomo wants to "break" the public school "monopoly."
Cuomo's charter school donors/Wall Street owners says the state is in "a public education crisis" that requires "bold, structural change at the state level" to solve:
"New York State is poised to lead the nation in boldly tackling this crisis," Families for Excellent Schools says in its letter. "Governor Cuomo and other leaders in education have started an important dialogue. You have asked the right questions and identified many of the right solutions. You now have the power to act. If our state is to take bold action that radically reduces the number of failing seats and expands access to excellent ones — be they district, charter, or parochial — we will all need your collective leadership.
"With your commitment to reform, New York can be the first state in the nation to address and solve its pervasive failing schools crisis. The forces of opposition will be great, but children and families in New York and across the nation have suffered for far too long. Our children cannot wait, our state cannot wait, and our nation cannot wait."
They want the public education system destroyed - Cuomo, Tisch, and the Wall Streeters and charter supporters who own them.
This is the End Game, folks.