Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cuomo And Brown

Governor Jerry Brown:

The laws that are in fashion demand tightly constrained curricula and reams of accountability data. All the better if it requires quiz-bits of information, regurgitated at regular intervals and stored in vast computers. Performance metrics, of course, are invoked like talismans. Distant authorities crack the whip, demanding quantitative measures and a stark, single number to encapsulate the precise achievement level of every child.

We seem to think that education is a thing—like a vaccine—that can be designed from afar and simply injected into our children. But as the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.”

This year, as you consider new education laws, I ask you to consider the principle of Subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level. In other words, higher or more remote levels of government, like the state, should render assistance to local school districts, but always respect their primary jurisdiction and the dignity and freedom of teachers and students.

Subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is taught and how it is to be measured. I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each day, doing the real work – lighting fires in young minds.

My 2013 Budget Summary lays out the case for cutting categorical programs and putting maximum authority and discretion back at the local level—with school boards. I am asking you to approve a brand new Local Control Funding Formula which would distribute supplemental funds — over an extended period of time — to school districts based on the real world problems they face. This formula recognizes the fact that a child in a family making $20,000 a year or speaking a language different from English or living in a foster home requires more help. Equal treatment for children in unequal situations is not justice.
Governor Andrew Cuomo:

Cuomo’s education spending proposals rely heavily on competitive grants, which essentially pit school districts against each other and have the power to leverage more change for fewer dollars. The governor did not offer school districts any significant mandate relief and the modest grants to increase learning time and early education will only cover a handful of districts.
The governor again criticized the amount of money spent by New York’s schools, which have the highest per-pupil costs in the nation, at $18,618, 76 percent above the national average. The proposal points out that 74 percent of New York students graduate high school and just 35 percent are considered college-and-career ready.

Cuomo said he does not want to dump money into education just to support “trade groups, a veiled swipe at New York United Teachers. He said students and parents should have their interests before the adults that work in public education.

“Pay for results, pay for performance,” he said. “Put the customer first, this is not about funding bureaucracy.”

Cuomo’s spending plan calls for a $25 million expansion of pre-kindergarten, targeting high-needs districts where poorer children are more in need of early learning. The plan calls for $20 million to extend early learning, and will pay the full cost for districts that extend the school day or school year by at least 25 percent.

A “bar exam” for teachers that must be passed to earn certification. The budget also include $11 million to reward high-performing “master” teachers who could receive $15,000 in stipends, annually for four years, to mentor colleagues who need help.

Jerry Brown uses Yeats to describe how teachers can inspire young minds.

Andrew Cuomo compares students to customers and teachers to trade groups.

Oh, but he did set aside $60 million for the Buffalo Bills.

If he's only going to pay for results, pay for performance, then what the hell are the Bills getting $60 million for?

I mean, I've got nothing against the Bills, but weren't they 6-10 this year?

You can't make this stuff up.

You just can't.

There are few men in public life today with as small a mind and as small a universal view as Andrew Cuomo has.

Of course his oversized ego compensates for the small mind and small universal view.

With all due respect to NYC Educator, Andrew Cuomo is the worst person in the world today, not John King.

Sure King sucks Big Data, but he's only getting away with this because Cuomo wants the policies this way.

On the other hand, Jerry Brown, with his respect for teachers and education as something other than an exercise in data collation, is a mensch.


  1. I really love this. Terrific comparison.

  2. Cuomo is picking up the bar exam meme from our other dear union sell out Randi Slimgarten? Well she is a lawyer so she must be smarter than teachers. Cuomo is also banging the merit pay drum like the Orange Order in a Catholic neighborhood with equally disastrous results. What;s becoming really clear to me is the stark reality that NONE of what Cuomo or any of these other dopes tipsy from the bottle of school reform do has anything to do with improving the quality of education or helping kids. It's all about blaming and punishing teachers and diverting education funds into the pockets of privatizing cronies.