Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, March 6, 2015

SUNY Professors: Cuomo, NYSED Setting Up Teachers To Fail

 From the Capital New York Education update:

UNION: CUOMO SABOTAGING PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS—Capital’s Jessica Bakeman: “A union representing SUNY professors, along with a member of the Board of Regents, accused Governor Andrew Cuomo and the State Education Department on Thursday of intentionally sabotaging prospective teachers in order to justify shutting down colleges’ teacher preparation programs.

“Fred Kowal, president of the United University Professions, which represents professors and other employees at SUNY’s 29 state-operated campuses, 17 of which have teacher preparation programs, [said,] ‘S.E.D.’s certification exams are invalid and deeply flawed ... There is a reason why: it was done on purpose. This is failure by design. Simply put, New York’s student teachers have been set up to fail by S.E.D. and Governor Cuomo. The governor has made no secret of the fact that he wants to close teacher preparation programs. Now he wants to justify that decision.’” [PRO]

This is of course the strategy of the reform movement - to undercut what is "public" in order to eventually "privatize."  

To that end, they've created the public school crisis by cutting funding, increasing mandates, rolling out new standards before there was any curricula for them, tying those new standards to tests that nobody was prepared for, then setting the failure rates for those tests at 70% in order to be able to declare the public education system in "crisis" and in need of "dramatic reform."

Now they're aiming at teacher preparation programs too in order to prove those "failures" and impose "dramatic reform" on that sector of education.

It's a classic neoliberal blueprint being carried out here in New York State, one of the so-called "bluest" states in the nation, but really, just a playground for the Milton Friedman acolytes at this point.


  1. I've been saying this for the past 2 years. When you defame the profession, then make getting certification VERY expensive (edTPA nearly $1000) and ridiculously complicated (not to mention that Cuomo wants a FULL year teacher internship and a 5-year wait to get tenure) well, guess what? No one will want to become a teacher. This is a recipe for disaster. watch what happens in the next 3-5 years as thousands of baby boom generation teachers flee the profession for retirement. Can you spell, "S-H-O-R-T-A-G-E?"

  2. Cuomo's response:

    "Yea, so?"

  3. The dude is untouchable. He knows it. No one can touch Cuomo.

  4. No worries, Cuomo will allow emergency certification for the TFA folk who will be teaching in all the charter schools that will replace the public school system in New York State.

  5. Cuomo is touchable ruining his presidential ambitions by bringing so many enemies to get organized against him and his backers

  6. Cuomo is touchable. He's a coward. All bullies are cowards. Problem is, once you become a bully's victim, you remain his victim. . . Until you finally stand up to him. God, I wish I could give a workshop to our membership on the psychology of bullies (and victimhood).

    Listen, bullies work by manipulating people's fear of humiliation. They pick a target (or a group of people) and demonize the target in a very public way. This serves two purposes. One: the bully believes it sends a message to other would-be adversaries not to triffle with him. Two: it isolates the target from those who would support them were they not afraid to become victims, themselves.

    The bully's understanding of public humiliation cuts both ways, however. Bullies themselves are *petrified* of it. When a victim publicly stands up to a bully, the tool of fear evaporates, and the bully is immediately at risk of the very type of humiliation they spend so much time trying to orchestrate for others. The result is stunning.

    Have you ever seen a kid getting beaten by a bully? Obviously you intervened. But notice how it played out before you stepped in. Invariably , the victim is curled up in a ball, and doesn't throw a punch. They are petrified, praying, as they are being beaten, that the punches will stop. But, the beating does not stop, because the bully's motivation swells with each unanswered blow. The bullies feels they are sending a public message to the whole school yard.

    The only time I have seen such a spectacle stop is when the victim, against all their internal instinct, fights back. I have seen kids stop harassment from kids twice their size simply by taking one unexpected swing. By doing so, the kid shows they do not fear the beating, they do not fear losing, they have no fear of humiliation. Humiliation does not stem from losing a fight. Humiliation comes from publicly displaying that you are a coward.

    Once you are in the bully's crosshairs, no amount of magical thinking will get them to move on. You have to fight back. You may not want to. You may say, "why did this happen to me? I didn't do anything." And, you're right. And, it doesn't matter. Because it won't stop until you fight back. People who don't fight back end up depressed, humiliated, and the end result is too tragic to talk about. People who do fight back, sometimes win, sometimes lose, but, always, *ALWAYS* succeed in changing the game.

    In this case, we have to go on Strike. Since we already know our leadership is cowardly, our strike will have to be a wildcat one. The corporate media will go full bore against us at first. But, only because most of them are cowards themselves, only trying to stay in the good-graces of the schoolyard bully.

    But even if the media are against us, I believe most people will not be. At the end of the day, people respect courage. The media will have no choice but to cover the strike. And, no matter how it get's characterized in the headlines, the public will be forced to think about what the hell has gone so wrong that all these teachers have taken to the street.

    With so much to lose, we will be showing that having the resources to do our job means too much to much to us to tolerate the "status quo" any longer. We are willing to fight to restore and strengthen the conditions which allow us help kids learn properly.

  7. The idea is to close these Ed schools down. In theory, they will consolidate; Ed school will become more prestigious. Like all Ed reform plans, the theory is half-baked.