Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, December 4, 2015

Chris Gibson: If NY Sticks With Common Core And Heavy-Handed Education Policy, It's All On Cuomo

Congressman Chris Gibson on the "Every Child Succeeds Act," the education bill that passed the House this week and is expected to pass the Senate and be signed into law by President Obama before Christmas:

New York educators and legislators are hopeful the passage of a bipartisan education bill in the House of Representatives this week will convince the state to abandon the more controversial aspects of its own education reform.

The bill, the Every Student Succeeds Act, dismantles George W. Bush's signature No Child Left Behind Act and shifts authority over the nation's public schools from the federal government back to states and local school districts. Not only does it let states to decide whether student test scores are an appropriate way to evaluate teachers or assess schools, but it also prohibits the federal government from mandating or even incentivizing states to adopt learning standards like the Common Core.


U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, called the bill a major step forward in reducing federal overreach in classrooms and in empowering states and localities. The bill gives New York the flexibility to decide how it wants to test its children and evaluate teachers, he said.

"The ball is now clearly in the governor's court," he said. "We have so many parents and teachers and students that have been upset with Common Core. Well, this bill allows states to withdraw from Common Core without penalty. In addition, the state has taken a heavy-handed approach to schools that are failing, and that has been in part driven by the federal government. That federal overreach is now gone, so anything the governor continues to do in education will be from his own volition. He can no longer lean on the federal government."

I remain skeptical that Cuomo, who's completely on the take from the education reform industrial complex/Heavy Fund Managers For Education Reform, will want to derail the heavy-handed education policy he's helped impose onto the state, including Common Core, the Endless Testing regime, punitive teacher evaluations and a state receivership program that allows the state to take over "failing" public schools and hand them to private entities.

But he certainly wants to make it look like changes are coming.

Thus the Common Core Task Force, thus the trial balloons in the Times about de-linking test scores from APPR, thus the soothing words from him about education policy changes coming.

With his approval numbers in the toilet and his approval numbers on education even worse than that, Cuomo's got to walk a tightrope here, making it look like he's bringing about real change to education policy while assuring his owners, er, campaign donors in the hedge fundie/education reform world that he's still pursuing their agenda.

As Gibson notes, with NCLB III in place, Cuomo's going to have one less scapegoat to blame for the toxic, punitive education reform agenda he wants imposed on the children, teachers and schools of this state.


  1. If Gibson plays this right, he could make a nice run for Gov. That's if he can navigate the right wing wackos that have taken over his party.

  2. Right wing wackos? As if the Democrats were not taken over by left wing wackos decades ago?

    1. Yeah, republicans in NY haven't been able to run a viable candidate for governor or senate in how long now? Why? Too far to the right, especially in NY. I used to vote for and support some republicans, depending on the issues. Now they're so far off the deep end it's been years.

  3. If only...minus the 'wacko' pejorative you throw around without any possible basis for it.

  4. *************************IMPORTANT***************************
    With regard to the friedrichs case vs california teachers union
    Please note that if the court rules in favor of friedrich then we here in nyc will have a choice whether or not to pay union dues. If we opt out of paying for dues our uft will lose its power and consequently we all lose our power - so the answer is this.....and all readers should take note....if the verdict goes against us do not listen to the right wing sickos trying to destroy us...all we have to do is to continue to pay our dues to the uft and continue to receive our benefits the uft affords the uft perfect? remember all the benefits we do get from being unionized....contract negotiations, health benefits, hours worked and on and working class person would want working conditions to retreat to conditions before unions were formed....the woman friedrich, a teacher in california is concerned that she is forced to pay union dues....really?... i mean the $1000 she pays yearly is really too much for this woman to pay given all the benefits the union affords her?? this woman friedrich is really just a porn in the game to destroy public to all you out there that want to withdraw your union dues think carefully people don't be a victim of the un-informed and allow your life to be dictated by privatization which will make the 1 percents even richer and lower our standard of work conditions and pay....hope this answers any confusion regarding this sad case.

    1. I just got a mailing from Marty Messner, Sec/Treas of NYSUT, offering me $3,241 off MSRP of some car I would never want to buy and "Holly Jolly Holiday Savings" by using NYSUT Member Benefits.

      I'll probably continue to pay my dues to the UFT and NYSUT if Friedrichs is upheld but I I gotta admit that if I had any doubts about it that MSRP-thing and the "Holly Jolly Holiday Shopping" clinch the deal.

  5. I have been a member of NYSUT for 35 years. I once held local union office. So let me get this straight: NYSUT/UFT has been going downhill for a long time. But, we should all just keep paying our dues because as bad as they are, we need them?

    I think the only way to bring about any change to either union is through some type of drastic action. This just might be it. Not sure yet. I do know that the current union(s) has (have) repeatedly shafted all of us. They are useless. We were all sold out on Common Core/Race to the Top, APPR, Tier 5 and Tier 6, charters, etc. Hardly a reason to keep giving them millions in dues. They suck.

    What to do next? Ideally, we would have completely new leadership committed to the members, not to the perks, power and privileges (and fat salaries) derived from their positions.

  6. I agree with Anon 5:13. Anon 2:12 seems to confuse what we are saying. Most of us will gladly pay union dues. Just not to the UFT! They have lost too many battles. And, frankly, when they come to us with excuses, I find it insulting. Half the time it's some story about why they couldn't protect us that sounds so contrived that it is barely even credible.

    Why do I see exoerienced teachers forced to roam the city like unwanted wnaderers? That's disgraceful. How many years have these people devoted to their profession? If the UFT can't protect them, then the UFT should be ashamed of themselves.

    I have heard nothing but cowardice and excuses from the UFT on this matter. It disgusts me. I tell my family (midwesterners) about how the experienced teachers are treated, and they are shocked. Even middle of-the-road centrists feel that treating experienced teachers that way is unconscionable. But the UFT acts as if there's nothing they can do. Nothing they can do?! Really? How about stand up for us. That's what you can do. Frankly, this is an easy battle, because the public would totally be in our side. Why should an older teacher be forced to shlep all over Gotham every two weeks to a new, undisclosed location. Even the most unabashed teacher-hater would recognize this as harrassment.

    Mind you, this little rant is coming from a from a teacher who has it good right now. I'm young enough not to be a target for my salary. Everyone says I'm a good teacher. Why? Because I'm a bargain. But, I'm no dummy. I see how this plays out every time I see a good (but experienced) teacher come into my school as an ATR. The kids often like them. They always learn a lot. And then, poof, they're gone. As the kids would say, "WTF?" Really, UFT, you don't give a crap. You are so cowardly. You could fix this if you weren't so cowardly and so afraid to rich the boat. Stand up and call them out. You wouldn't even be rocking the boat, because everyone thinks this is crazy.

  7. Sounds like the federal legislatures weren't happy with the trial balloon sent up though the Politco piece that 'the federal government won't let us get rid of tests entirely'. Glad to see this guy is getting it from all sides.

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