This year, Cuomo’s even pushing reforms the union hates: a tougher teacher-evaluation regime, raising the charter-school cap, taking over failing schools. If his agenda passes, opportunities for kids will likely improve.
Yet even this won’t transform education in New York — or give Cuomo a real legacy.
Remember, in districts like the city’s, it isn’t just a few schools failing. It’s most of them.
Cuomo needs a bolder approach. He’ll need to find a way to bypass the union — or limit its power, perhaps in much the way governors like Bruce Rauner of Illinois and Scott Walker of Wisconsin are dealing with unions in their states.
Yes, Cuomo’s a Democrat, and those two are Republicans. No one expects him to “break” a union, end collective bargaining or shutter schools en masse.
But to see big gains, Cuomo will have to move in that direction. Along with bumping the charter cap, how about creating an environment that lures charter operators?
Overriding contracts with legislation? OKing alternatives — vouchers, private-school tax credits, traditional schools with all-new work rules and management — that foster competition among schools?
Cuomo may think this is too much for bluer-than-blue New York. But if he hopes to make himself viable nationally, he has to prove he can lead his base — not just appease it.
Actually Cuomo is pushing for "failing" schools and even "failing" school districts to be taken over by the state and put into receivership where the teachers contracts can be broken and whole swaths of teachers fired.
Cuomo's also pushing for vouchers for private schools via an education tax credit, an increase to the charter cap, and more accountability measures for pubic schools (but not for charter schools.)
Alas, those privatization Cuomo policies aren't enough Scott Walker for the NY Post - they want even more.
Well, they just need to wait a year or two - I'm sure Cuomo will give it them.
Every year he grows more anti-union and anti-pubic school.
Give him a couple more years and he'll complete his transformation into Scott Walker.
In fact, he's more than half way there now.