ALBANY - Bedford schools Superintendent Jere Hochman is joining Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet as his top education aide.
Hochman, who has headed the Bedford school district since 2008, will leave to become Cuomo’s deputy secretary for education, Gannett’s Albany Bureau has learned.
“Dr. Hochman brings tremendous experience and an in-depth knowledge of the public education system to his new role,” Cuomo said in a statement. “He has spent his career working to strengthen learning environments and make schools a better place for all, and he will be a valuable member of our policy team.”
A former English teacher and school principal, Hochman will become the Democratic governor’s top education adviser at a time when the state’s implementation of the Common Core education standards continues to receive criticism from parents and teachers.
Hochman has been critical of state education policies in the past. Last year, he said the Common Core has become too tied to a “culture of testing” and questioned whether it would need to be revamped.
“The whole accountability, ‘gotcha’ culture is so out of control that we need a fresh start,” Hochman told The Journal News in September of last year. “The standards are OK, but every problem is connected to the Common Core. New York needs to take a bold stance so we can focus on educating kids.”
It's an interesting appointment, that's for sure.
But I'm not ready to believe this means a real change in policy is coming from Andrew "I will break the public schools" Cuomo, even if he's promised "a lot of changes" to education policy coming up.
As Nate said on twitter:
@lacetothetop @NYGovCuomo @lohud of course a political appointment is not the same as fixing policy.— Nate (@N8TchsGr8) October 28, 2015
There's still a lot of campaign donations in Cuomo's coffers, with more promised, if he continues to push a privatization agenda.
One thing is certain though - Cuomo is clearly worried about his polling numbers, which are dismal overall and especially dismal on education.
Can you imagine him appointing a critic of state education policy and testing even last year?