“Public education is for the public good,” said NYSUT President Karen Magee in a statement. “It is not a monopoly. It is the centerpiece of our democracy and what makes our nation great. Reclaiming the promise of public education should be our singular focus. The governor’s comments are an unfortunate distraction from the serious conversation we must have in this state about addressing poverty, funding and real solutions that ensure that every child receives fair and equal to a high quality education.”
The governor's comments are an unfortunate distraction?
What the hell is Magee talking about?
The governor's comments are a DIRECT attack against the public school system and public school teachers by Governor Cuomo.
If President Magee thinks a direct attack is nothing more than a distraction, than she is even more clueless than I thought she was when she was first elected president of NYSUT.
We've been over this before, but I want to go over it again:
The various union leaders at the AFT, UFT and NYSUT have helped Cuomo out considerably these past four years.
The reason why NYSUT President Magee is NYSUT president is because UFT President Mulgrew and AFT President Weingarten launched a putsch against the old NYSUT leadership when it started to push back against Cuomo's attacks on teachers and schools.
The reason why Governor Cuomo doesn't have a third party candidate from the left battling him on the Working Families Party line next Tuesday is because the UFT leadership threatened the WFP with dissolution if Zephyr Teachout was given the ballot line.
One of the reasons why Governor Cuomo has his running mate, Kathy Hochul, running with him on Tuesday and not Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu, is because AFT President Randi Weingarten, along with NYC Mayor Bill de Blaiso, made robocalls before the primary in support of Hochul.
So Cuomo's gotten a lot of help from the leaders of the teachers unions and how does he repay that help?
With threats to "break" the public school "monopoly" and bring more "rigor" to his mess of a teacher evaluation system in his next term.
NYSUT supporters argue they got the governor to support a teacher evaluation safety net for teachers whose students take the Common Core exams, but the governor has yet to sign that bill into law, so in essence, the Revive NYSUT leadership has gotten NOTHING in any fight it has had with Governor Cuomo these past months (except for the double pension giveaway for the NYSUT leadership, as a commenter below points out.)
Now we have NYSUT President Magee calling Cuomo's direct attack on schools and teachers a "distraction" when it is anything but.
We are going to be in for a rough four years if and when Cuomo wins re-election because it's clear NYSUT leaders have no desire to take him on.
I'll have more later about the UFT and AFT leaderships, but suffice to say, they don't have any appetite to fight Cuomo either.
We're on our own, folks.
And Cuomo's coming for us.