Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview this morning reiterated that he will tackle an overhaul of education in his second term, a sign that he is not letting up on his battle with the state teachers union.
Cuomo, on The Capitol Pressroom this morning, said he wanted to make his education reform measures part of his overall legacy as governor — linking it to his other legislative successes.
What those reforms will be are likely to include new performance evaluations and raising teacher standards, along with tying pay raises to merit.
At the same time, Cuomo has been pushing for strengthening charter schools in his second term. For the New York State United Teachers, Cuomo’s push on education reform measures is meant to appease his donors, many of whom are wealthy hedge-fund managers who are supportive of charter school initiatives.
Cuomo’s education plans aren’t just academic. A number of tangible issues are coming to a head next year in Albany, including the expiration of mayoral control of New York City schools.
Cuomo in his interview today said he was willing to expend some of his political capital in order to get changes to the state’s education system.
“If you’re not willing to pay the price for change, get out of the business, because the status quo is the worst outcome of all of this,” Cuomo said, adding, “When I am done I’m going to be proud of these things that have caused the most heartburn.”
He's proudest of things that cause the most heartburn.
He's going to push for new evaluation standards for teachers, even though the current system he touts as the best in the nation is a mess, he's going to push for merit pay and he's going to either increase the charter school cap dramatically or eliminate it completely.
Finally, he says he's willing to expend political capital on this attack on teachers and public schools (though I dunno if he knows that he's got a lot less political capital these days than he had after 2010 when he pushed through his first slate of education reforms.)
Before the election, Randi Weingarten defended his earlier threat to "break" the public school "monopoly" by calling it "campaign rhetoric."
Hey, Randi, are these post-election comments from Cuomo "campaign rhetoric" too?