In a wide-ranging interview with the Times Union editorial board on Monday, Heastie said it's high time lawmakers and others looked at students' lives inside and outside the classroom when it comes to addressing education.
"I really think that we shouldn't be looking at education alone anymore or mental health alone anymore or poverty alone anymore. I think that we have to look at the total family structure and see why it is that students are going into school not prepared for these challenges," the speaker said. "And I think a lot of it has to do with what's going on at home and their neighborhoods. Even super teacher may not be able to get through to a student whose life outside of school has issues."
"It's anti-poverty legislation, mental health, social services, minimum wage, all of these things that can change the outcome and plights of families," he said.
Heastie's allied with the teachers unions, so it's not a surprise that what he said to the Times-Union sounds like it could have been said by Randi Weingarten or Michael Mulgrew as they pushed for community schools that offer social and health services to students.
Nonetheless it is good to have one of the three men in the room state this publicly, though you can bet the other two men in the room (Cuomo, Flanagan) won't acknowledge any such thing.
Not that Heavy Heart Carl will do anything about it - last legislative session was heavy on the "Blame The Teachers/Blame The Schools" items, with standardized tests now counting for 50% of a teacher's evaluation, tenure gutted by two consecutive "ineffective" ratings, and the state getting receivership powers over "struggling" and "persistently struggling" schools.
The governor and his education reform donor pals wanted that legislative and that's exactly what they got it.
The only thing Heastie and his Assembly Heavy Hearts held on were Cuomo's beloved school voucher program that would have allowed him to steal even more money from public schools and give it to private schools.
As it is, Cuomo still managed to steer hundreds of millions of extra dollars the way of the private school sector and of course none of the new "accountability measures" for public schools count for charters.
So what Heastie says about taking a holistic approach to education, that's nice to hear, but in reality, it will have no bearing on our teaching or students' learning.
This coming school year will be another "Blame The Teachers/Blame The Schools" year thanks to Governor Cuomo, State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and Heavy Heart Heastie.