Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Democratic Minority Leader Stewart-Cousins Tells Cuomo To Stop "Demonizing Teachers" - Cuomo's Education Reform Donors Hit Right Back

I was off grading Regents exams this morning, so I missed this story:

In a rare public break with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins blasted the “demonizing of our teachers” in a statement released on Thursday morning.
Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat, called for increasing resources — aka more money — in the state budget for school districts and not “scapegoating teachers.”
“There has been too much demonizing of our teachers lately. As a former teacher, I understand firsthand the obstacles that many New York educators are facing and the resources they so desperately need in order to help our children,” Stewart-Cousins said. “Schools’ resources must be based on the school district needs. While we all agree that there are more improvements to be made to our education system, scapegoating teachers will not provide those improvements.”

Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat, is knocking Cuomo’s education reform push as Speaker Sheldon Silver is being pushed out of the Assembly’s leadership post on Monday.

Uncertainty over the future of the Assembly’s leadership push is leading to concerns among education advocates that the governor’s proposals won’t have a strong opponent in the budget negotiations.

Just a few hours later, Cuomo's education reform campaign donors fired back at Stewart-Cousins:

Students First NY, a group supportive of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education reform efforts, pushed back against Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’s statement this morning that called for an end to the “demonizing” of teachers.

In a statement, the group pointed out that in Yonkers, where Stewart-Cousins represents and lives, city school children are falling behind in math and reading.
“There’s a reason why the teachers’ union has spent $60 million in Albany over the past five years: to get politicians like Andrea Stewart-Cousins to put their interests over the hundreds of thousands of kids victimized by a failing system,” said the group’s Director of Organizing, Tenicka Boyd, in a statement. “In Yonkers, 4 out of 5 students cannot read or do math on grade level — they need a Senator, too. Governor Cuomo’s plan will give our best teachers $20,000 bonuses, will cover tuition to get the best and brightest into our classrooms, and will increase funding for all children. Governor Cuomo is fighting for kids; Senator Stewart-Cousins should too.”

Stewart-Cousins responded:

“Personal attacks and political sniping will not solve the deep-rooted problems in New York’s public education system. As a person who went to New York City Public Schools, sent my children to New York Public Schools and taught in New York Public schools, I will continue to stand up for New York’s children and urge common sense reforms that will help all New York students receive the quality education they deserve.”

Boy, it doesn't take long for Cuomo's education reform donors - the very wealthy individuals and groups who have given him millions in campaign donations - to respond for Cuomo, almost as if they're coordinating that response with Cuomo's office.

Not that Cuomo would ever coordinate with education reformers or anything - except for that time he helped organize a pro-charter rally in Albany to beat down NYC Mayor de Blasio over the charter co-location issue.

The joke of all this is, Shelly Silver's been arrested for taking millions in cash and allegedly pushing the interests of those he received that cash from.

How exactly is that different from what Cuomo's doing with education reform and his education reform donors?

Silver didn't disclose the money, but Cuomo hasn't disclosed all the money either - we still don't know who donated to the shadowy PAC that pushed Cuomo's interests, the Committee To Save NY.

What Silver's done is considered illegal, but Cuomo's perfectly fine taking millions from his ed deform donors and pushing their destructive plans for public education.

I dunno, I'm a little murky on what's the difference between illegal bribery and campaign donations, but apparently Cuomo isn't.


  1. Cuomo's plan: $20,000 to "the best." "The best" art teacher, "the best" PE teacher, "the best" librarian, "the best" school nurse, "the best" guidance counselor, "the best" AP biology teacher, "the best" kindergarten teacher, "the best" grade 5 chorus teacher, "the best" teacher of health impaired children. Tell me Governor Cuomo, how do you fairly evaluate staff to determine who is doing a job worth $20,000 more than others? Oh, that's right. You are going to use hard earned taxpayer dollars to add a new level of costly bureaucracy. You will have independent evaluators enter schools buildings and within an hour determine the deserving. And how are you fairly going to base 50% of teacher evaluations on student growth scores? A 7th grade ELA CCS Assessment can not be equated to an AP Calculus test can not be equated to a flute final. Governor Cuomo, your plans are set to destroy all that is good with public schools and do nothing to ensure staff work TOGETHER to continue to improve how we educate our wonderful students.

  2. Lot of favoritism and sideways deals about to take place. 20K more by doing what? I can see it now. Ms Green has better students than me. I'm a better teacher but my students are dumb. I have double the special ed population in my class so how is that fair? I hate Ms. Green. Ms. Green sucks and I'm going to secretly harrass her.