The Cuomo administration has sent a letter to Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and outgoing-Education Commissioner John King outlining the governor’s intention to make teacher reforms a top priority.
The letter from State Operations Director Jim Malatras also seems to bolster Cuomo’s controversial campaign season comments that he’d like to break up one of the last remaining public monopolies: public education.
“Several weeks ago Governor Cuomo said that improving education is thwarted by the monopoly of the education bureaucracy,” Malatras writes. “The education bureaucracy’s mission is to sustain the bureaucracy and the status quo and therefore it is often the enemy of change. The result is the current system perpetuates the bureaucracy, but fails our students in many ways.”
The monopoly busting plan is addressing the questions outlined in the letter, which include those about how the state’s current teacher evaluation is credible, how the administration would address the problem of removing poor-performing teachers and what Cuomo’s vision for charter schools is.
Here are some of the areas Cuomo suggests could see so-called reform or push in the next legislative season:
1. The evaluation system
2. The 3020a disciplinary process
3. The ATR pool in NYC
4. Teacher certification
5. Probationary period for teachers
6. Making it easy to close schools
7. Increase in charter schools, especially in NYC
8. Adding more technology to the system, including online classes
9. Consolidating districts
10. Reforming the Regents appontment process
11. Making the hiring of NYSED Commissioner King's replacement transparent
I'll have more later on this.
But suffice to say, there's a lot here that Cuomo says he wants to tackle.
Does he have the political juice to pull this kind of agenda off?
This is the kind of agenda you see from a governor with an 80% approval rating (like he had in the first term), not a governor who won re-election with the lowest totals of anyone since FDR.
So he can be beaten on a lot of this if the union leaders at the AFT, UFT and NYSUT actually decide to fight him.
But will they?
It is very obvious that "the emperor in Albany" has thrown down the gauntlet, here. His jester (Merryl ... "not in ANYWAY, Merry") has partaken of the royal kool-aid and together, they are plotting to turn the kingdom upside down for their own ill gotten good. Add to all this the fact that the AFT, UFT and NYSUT leadership are in cahoots and well, you can plainly see where things are headed.ReplyDelete
To all of this I say, BRING IT ON! In the end there will be a fundamental collapse of epic proportions. I suspect that we have targets painted on our backs already. The reality is that we are stronger than our union leadership and parents will help us to push back. Unfortunately, our students are going to suffer as a result of the coming storm.
It is time that individual teacher associations take a stand AGAINST leadership at the city, state and national level. The interests of Randi, Mike and Karen ARE NOT the interests of the rank and file BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION. Mind you, while we were all busy during the last few days of a hectic 2013-14 school year, our NYSUT leadership was busy cutting their own little double-dipping deal with Andy who railroaded legislation through before the legislature recessed for the summer. How cozy can these strange bedfellows get?
In the end, there will be a lot of collateral damage to our public schools and even though Cuomo and Tisch will point fingers at us, they only have themselves to blame. Let's hope that Cuomo's future in politics takes a very serious hit at the national level and that now King is gone, Tisch's curtain is pulled back to reveal that she is an arrogant, self-serving political climber. This is disgusting!
You make some good points. I'm with you with the parent engagement on this - it's like w/ CCSS and opt-out. Cuomo looking to "toughen" teacher evals by adding ineffective quotas is going to make schools CRAZY. We can get parents on board to help us with this. What effects us effects children!Delete
Keep in mind he is really a Republican governor with enough Republican support to pull this off. NYSUT wanted their double pension at the expense do those who pay their salaries.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately teachers in general are not on top of the back door deals until it's too late.
Putting this up on Support Public Schools on FB!!
Yeah, that's a great point. He's got the Senate locked up. Assembly is only place to hold the line, and increasingly that gets dicier.Delete
Shelly Silver and the Assembly Democrats are all that is keeping us from massive terminations. Even they may not be able to stop this onslaught.ReplyDelete
The only positive about any of this is your coverage, Reality,which has been first rate. I don't know where you find the time. Thanks for sounding the alarm loud and clear.
Thanks for the kind words, James. I'm trying to do my best to fight the good fight in the way I know best.Delete
As to your point about Silver and the Assembly, I'm not even sure Shelly will save us. Maybe Preet Bharara is only thing that can save us. That would weaken Cuomo and make his agenda push less certain. But I'm not feeling all that confident we're going to see any indictments of Cuomo hacks in the Moreland mess.
I was at the RA last year and totally disgusted with how our current NYSUT leadership pulled off their coup and nothing they have done since gives me any hope for thier backing in the future. Cuomo wants access to our retirement fund and he does not want to pay for education unless money is going into his back pocket via the charter schools. God help our studentsReplyDelete
Here is what I do not understand: The fact is that our economy is getting better by the month. TFA is starting to dissolve, and now Cuomo is out to destroy the public education teaching profession The big question is "who will be left to work in our schools when this perfect storm comes together?". Regular public school teachers will be fired, no TFA'ers will be around, teacher preparation programs are seeing less applicants. Who is going to be left to teach in our schools? Please note that I am not being sarcastic in this statement.ReplyDelete
I predict a severe shortage of teachers in about 5 to 6 years.Delete
I predicted same thing in a meeting today. Job numbers are turning around nationally. Wages are going up. More people are leaving their jobs, indicating more people feel better about the economy. In education, fewer students are going into education programs. Fewer TFA recruits. The assault on "bad" teachers goes on apace, but the thing that might upend the whole campaign is when they can't get anybody to teach anymore. They keep up the assault and that;s going to happen.Delete
They will use computers and robots.Delete
Teachers need to strike statewideReplyDelete
I think putting together a coalition of parents, students and teachers to fight the assault is the better way to go. Making the evals "tougher" will affect children - more testing, more craziness in schools, etc. I think it's something we can get parents on board on.Delete
I agree with putting together coalitions but the devil is in the details. Parent oriented groups fighting high stakes testing like Change the Stakes are the kinds of groups to build alliances with -- but the major work has to begin at the school level -- inform people at your workplace and build some kind of organization structure that can reach out to other schools -ReplyDelete
We started in my school today - did it during PD meetings and other deform garbage. Gist to colleagues was, if you think this year is bad, wait until next when we have the quotas...Delete
My advice to all my fellow NYSUT members out there is to ASK QUESTIONS of your local association leadership. If NYSUT wants VOTE COPE money they better start working for US, again. Without the leadership of the UFT and NYSUT, our only option will be to enlist help at the local level in EVERY school district across the state. Make NO mistake, there will be HELL to pay as Cuomo and Tisch start to play their hand. I am putting a lot of hope in our students' parents and what I hope will be a DAMNING Moreland Commission report that clearly implicates Cuomo with tampering. I am appalled to live in NYS and even MORE appalled that I actually voted for Cuomo the first time around. He is no democrat and has only shown arrogance and a desire to strong arm and BULLY his way through. I am fully convinced that he is scum and I for one cannot wait for the skeletons in his closet to be exposed. If I were his father or mother, I would be sickened by my son's behavior and for his disservice to all public employees, especially public schoool educators. If Hillary and Bill Clinton like Andy, I may have to rethink my choice for president in 2016.ReplyDelete
Please GOD ... send us Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu to right this sinking ship before it is too late!
And if you don't get an intelligent answer from your local leadership ask those questions to the NYSUT ED director. And keep asking.Delete
Feckless Corporate Stooge!ReplyDelete
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