Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, February 6, 2015

Opposition To Cuomo's Education Reform Agenda Mounts

Governor Cuomo wants the fight over his education agenda to be framed as "Cuomo vs. Unions."

That way, he can argue that this battle is about forcing accountability onto an "unaccountable" union workforce.

Unfortunately for Cuomo, many people are seeing through this cynical move by Cuomo - including Republican politicians:

COOPERSTOWN — Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s public education agenda for 2015 Wednesday, accusing the state’s chief executive of taking a “wrong-headed” approach that fails to empower local schools and has shut out input from teachers, parents and administrators.

“This idea that Cuomo thinks he is basically going to ride roughshod over education and somehow end up with a better product, I don’t see how he does that,” Gibson told The Daily Star in an interview from Washington, D.C. “He has got to include teachers in that process.”

Cuomo infuriated the labor union representing public school teachers two weeks ago when he proposed linking the grades teachers get on job performance evaluations to state test results if they teach a tested class. Under his plan, 50 percent of a teacher’s performance grade would be based on the test results, up from the current 20 percent mark. Cuomo argued that it doesn’t make sense to have a system in which so many teachers get high grades while large numbers of children perform poorly on tests.
Gibson also graded Cuomo’s education agenda as being deficient for not addressing what he contends is New York’s over-reliance on standardized tests via the so-called Common Core curriculum.

“When you rely heavily on this standardized testing, you end up with teachers teaching to the test,” said the congressman, a former assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. “That is stifling creativity and it’s stifling learning.”
He also predicted Cuomo’s approach to solving problems in the classrooms is doomed to fail.
“The governor’s approach I think is wrong-headed, and ultimately I think he is going to be frustrated,” Gibson said.

Gibson's a Congressman - he doesn't have a vote in this battle.

But his willingness to come out and chastise Cuomo publicly for "running roughshod over education, " for "stifling creativity," "stifling learning" - that's an important advent in this fight.

It means politicians are hearing from their constituents, parents and teachers, about the testing, the Common Core and all the other insanity that we've gotten during the Cuomo Years via the Board of Regents and NYSED and they're not happy.

Cuomo thinks he can win this fight by framing it as "Lazy Teachers Don't Want To Be Held Accountable" - and maybe he could have won it with that argument back before the battles over Common Core and the Endless Testing regime.

But it's not 2010 or 2011 anymore - parents and much of the public has seen the ineptitude with which the NYSED and the Regents have trotted out the Common Core and they're not fooled into thinking the mess is the fault of teachers.

There is cause for optimism going into the fight with Cuomo over education when you see prominent GOP politicians willing to take him on over it.

After all, it's the union-allied Assembly Dems who are supposed to be the group that gives him the most "fight" in this battle.

The key is whether the constituents complaining loudly about the Cuomo education deform agenda can be heard over the hedge fundie and Wall Street donors showing up with the cash to push it.


  1. However, we must all remember that Cuomo has the "nuclear option": The NYS budget is his A-Bomb in this war.

    1. It's true. But will he use the nuclear option with a job approval of 47%? Can he? In first term, it was a slam dunk. It's less now - doesn't mean he won't do it. But not sure how it will all play out if he does.