Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, September 3, 2015

UFT Appears To Be Only Entity/Individual Fooled By Cuomo's Common Core Review Announcement

So far I haven't seen anything but cynicism and snark from people over Cuomo's announcement that he's going to convene his third education commission/panel, this time to review the Common Core standards, the tests tied to those standards and the curriculum developed by the state that goes by the misnomer EngageNY (should be called DisengagedNY.)

Here, for example was Liz Benjamin:

We have indeed: 

It is not the first time Cuomo, a staunch defender of the higher Common Core standards, has criticized their implementation in New York. In February 2014, he said the state's Board of Regents and the Department of Education had "failed utterly" in the design and roll-out of the new Regents exams.

It is also not the first time he has convened a statewide commission to tackle wide-ranging problems in K-12 education. An earlier version, the New York State Education Reform Commission, issued a 92-page "action plan" in January 2014.

He also created the plainly-named Common Core Implementation Panel in 2014. It was to "undertake an immediate and comprehensive review of the rollout of the Common Core standards in New York state," and it too produced a report.

Gary Stern and Sullio put past Cuomo/commissions into perspective:

So why a third education panel/commission?

The political heat on Cuomo over Common Core and the Endless Testing regime was getting, well, hot:

The governor's press release, though, was noteworthy as a response to the mounting criticism and, in particular, the wave of test refusals among families with children in grades 3-8. About one of five students declined to sit for either the math or English exam in the spring.

Or, as Steve McLaughlin put it:

When things get hot, it's "Commission time!" in Albany - Cuomo's done this with corruption (Moreland), public utilities (LIPA commission) and education - twice as Justin Murphy reported in the D&C.

So now we have a third commission, one that Cuomo hopes will allow him to put some distance between himself and his education reform agenda.

Steve McLaughlin explains:

About the only person/entity that doesn't seem to understand this is all jive is the UFT, which hailed the announcement today:

Right - because the last two education commissions/panels Cuomo put together "fixed" so much.

On the plus side, with Cuomo now officially pulling a Chris Christie on Common Core and trying to make like he never saw it, there are only a few supporters of CCSS left:


If anybody at the UFT/AFT/NYSUT actually thinks the Cuomo announcement today will lead to substantive changes to the reform agenda in New York, then they've fallen off a turnip truck.

But I suspect the the UFT hailed the Cuomo announcement because it gives them cover for continuing to support CCSS and Endless Testing in New York - now they can say, Hey we've got a commission coming to "fix" all the problems with them.

Sure we do...


  1. I love the "lacetothetop" tweet above. Sad part about our union is they have little to no leadership or initiative qualities. All they ever do is react to things good and bad. And, often, look weak in the process.

  2. Also, it's a good thing no one got "punched in the face" over this disorganized mess.

  3. As if we needed more proof that our unions' leadership is, at bottom, part of our collective problem.

    I think that union leadership's (AFT, UFT, NYSUT) original sin here was that they were in all reality THE ONLY PEOPLE at the table took CCSS and all that seriously. Rather than seeing all of it for what it was, empty tools for privatizing everything in education, they instead decided to engage the nonsense earnestly. Now, years on, even the reformers are seeing it all as baggage and moving forward with privatizing and destroying teachers nonetheless. The union leadership should be ashamed and deeply embarrassed that they were and are played for such fools.

    I dont think our union leadership has secret agendas and alliances with reformers, as some believe. I actually just see them as unsophisticated, not particularly bright, dutiful to authority, non-consequential thinkers, non-tragic thinkers, uncreative, uncreative thinkers regarding risk assessment, humorless, and not at all well read on anything.

    What we have is perhaps the worst leadership lineup for the last 10 years in, possibly, labor history. This says something about us. This is actually a membership problem, not a leadership problem. Howd we let it get this bad??

    We are either going to be vigilant organized teachers, or none of it at all.