Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Circular Firing Squad: Cuomo Blames NYSED For Common Core Woes, NYSED Blames Parents, Teachers

Susan Berry at Breitbart:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Thursday that the Common Core “is not working” and announced a plan to form his own “education commission” to review the standards initiative and report back to him on how to “fix” it.
Cuomo’s announcement accompanied finger pointing on why the grossly unpopular education reform has failed in his state.
As reports, Cuomo laid the blame for Common Core’s failure on the state’s Department of Education – the one state agency that is not directly under the control of the governor’s office. In turn, the relatively new education commissioner, MaryEllen Elia, who replaced Common Core champion John King — now “promoted” to adviser to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan – blamed New York’s Common Core problems on parents and school officials who were proponents of the state test opt-out movement.
Cuomo said in a statement that while he agrees “with the goal of Common Core Standards, I believe the implementation by the State Education Department (SED) has been deeply flawed."
“A growing chorus of experts have questioned the intelligence of SED’s Common Core program and objective educators across the state have found the implementation problematic, to say the least,” Cuomo added.

Berry writes that to blame NYSED for the implementation of the state's education reform agenda misses the "elephant in the room" - the popularity of Comon Core is plummeting all over the country.

Cuomo blaming NYSED, NYSED blaming parents and teachers - all the finger pointing in the world isn't going to improve the plummeting popularity of Common Core, the Endless testing regime and the corporate education reform agenda Cuomo is pursuing.

As NYSAPE put it yesterday:

 In a press release yesterday expressing “sympathy” for parents, Cuomo called for a review of the Common Core in New York, blaming the State Education Department’s implementation while vowing to revive his Common Core panel to review the mess.

Parents across the state are not fools.

They know the problems are hardly limited to implementation of the Common Core, but the actual Common Core itself, its excessive testing, and a fundamentally broken teacher evaluation system.
Parents know that Andrew Cuomo is not part of the solution. Cuomo is the problem.

It is Cuomo who forced his unproven teacher evaluation system down parents’ throats.

It is Cuomo who slashed and underfunded the State Education Department staffing.

It is Cuomo who accepted ‘Big Donor’ campaign money and enabled the build-up of a privatized, unaccountable shadow government within the State Education Department –The Regents Research Fellows—who created the “Implementation” mess Cuomo now blames.

It is Cuomo who repeatedly tramples on the New York State Constitution–which gives a NY Governor NO authority over education policy—with his serial habit of forming pro-corporate education reform stacked panels, complete with Washington lobbyists salivating to eliminate parental consent for data profiling of children.

Parents of New York are outraged and will continue the fight to take back their schools and classrooms from the Albany shenanigans of Andrew Cuomo, Merryl Tisch and MaryEllen Elia.

Cuomo can finger point and play games.

MaryEllen Elia and NYSED can finger point and play games.

The games and finger pointing aren't fooling anybody.

Neither is the latest Cuomo education reform commission (the third commission/panel since 2014.)


  1. The Elephant in the Room

    David Coleman and Bill Gates walk into a bar filled with fellow reformers. They sit down to order a drink.

    The bar tender says, “Hey aren’t you David Coleman the chief architect of the Common Core and the current president of the College Board?”
    “Why yes, replies Coleman. I’m flattered that you recognized me.”
    The bar keep asks, “Is it true that your decisions will affect the education of 75 million students a year, P to 20 – until the end of time?”
    “As a matter of fact, it is true.” Coleman beams.
    “Well is it also true that you haven’t taught a single day in your life and are self-admittedly unqualified for the job?”
    “Yeah, so what?”

    “And say, aren’t you Bill Gates, former CEO of Microsoft, self-made multi-billionaire?”
    “Indeed” replies Gates
    “And is it true that you spent $200 million dollars of your own pocket change to fund the implementation of Coleman’s Common Core?”
    “At least that” answers Gates.
    “And is it true that you do not subject your own children to this de-facto national curriculum that you paid for?”
    “Shhhhhhhhh . . .” responds Gates.

    “Well what can I get you guys?”
    “We’ll take two Kool-Aids” says Coleman. “just like everbody else who's still buying into our snake oil scam.”

  2. It is great that Cuomo wants to fix Common Core. As far as I am concerned, they can scrap the ELA standards and return to the days when teachers were involved in planning curricula.

    1. I'm betting those days will never return - too much money to be made for the corps...

  3. Rbe
    Seattle Washington declared charters unconstitutional. Where's the NY press on this? It's unconstitutional in 1 state? What a mess. The union in big ol nyc couldn't figure this out before Seattle?

    1. My understanding is that charters are unconstitutional because of the way the law is written in Washington. and that the unconstitutionality doesn't apply to other states. But I haven't followed the story that closely, being mostly focuses on the Cuomo commission, the Lederman lawsuit, and all the other reforminess we're fighting here in NY.

  4. Its all noise, this. This circle jer....I mean circular firing squad.
    I've said this before but I will say it again, because every day it seems they (Cuomo, Elia) are ramping up the noise and more people are getting all fluffed and confused and hopeful: None of this is about taking the eyes off the prize for them, which is damaging, demoralizing, deprofessionalizing, and removing teachers. There will be NO taking the edge off of evaluations. There seems to be some thinking floating around out there that Cuomo's harsh policies that he won against teachers were a political payback thing for not supporting him. Thats bullshit. His anti-teacher position is deeply rooted, bought and paid for, and central to not only his education vision but also his entire governorship. I think some folks are hopeful that all this headwind is going to push him and Elia to a more humane position on teacher evals. That is wrong.

    Most likely, there will be no change in evals, though possibly a delay of sorts. Their silence on the eval stuff says everything.

    There is also a possibility that they will change up the evals....don't forget, the reformers, Cuomo, Elia are not loyal to the simple tools and pawns of testing, test scores, even CCSS. They are only loyal to the goal of tossing teachers and privatizing. So, they may try to show how they are enlightened, listening leaders by doing a full change up on throwing out the test score piece entirely. We all think that that would remove our biggest threat. I think that they may go back to the drawing board and re-craft evals that are JUST AS DAMAGING AS TEST-SCORE BASED EVALS, but without the test scores. This could look like any of the following (and this is all wildass conjecture, but in the realm of possibility I think):

    1) Remove test scores and double down on the "outside observer" thing. Now this would be super hard to do as there are like 600K teachers in the state, but who knows. Maybe make eval for tenured folk every other year, all outside observers (who'd obviously have a mission to F teachers), and keep fast track 3020A.

    2) Go no test scores, and all observations in district, but somehow incentivize districts to come down harsh on X amount of teachers per year, and maintain the fast track 3020A (thats really the thing...the fast track. Because it really subverts our right to defense). That incentivization could be a funding thing worded to sound really cutting edge and "research based"...who knows.

    3) Hardcore push to remove seniority and then really ramp up the 3020A's on other things outside of teacher performance stuff, like speaking out on opt out, a sense, throwing all kinds of stuff into the "moral and ethics" piece of 3020A and really ding teachers there.

    Or some combination of all the above. Its just a thought exercise but I'm trying to play things out according to their past thinking and behavior. Tons of holes can be blasted in the above, which is great, but we do need to remain nimble and not get confused thinking real change is happening when it isnt. I just wish way smarter people than me in places like NYSUT were doing the same exercises!

    All I know is that they will change and modify everything they don't really care about in service of maintaining what they deeply care about, which is getting us off the field ASAP.