Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Student Lobbyist Cuomo Ensures Our Kids Get Less

We're in the odd position of having a governor who simultaneously calls himself a student advocate while also maintaining he has no say over what goes on in education. It's certainly nice to be able to take whatever position is expedient at the moment with no regard to the actual facts. If we could all do that, maybe the world would be a simpler place.

Nonetheless, Governor Andy is about to do a series of TV commercials in which he pushes Common Core, while acknowledging a few hiccups along the way. It's odd that the guy who said we can absolutely make no movement on teacher evaluations based on flawed tests for which we're all unprepared would now make such a statement. But you have to remember that Andrew Cuomo does what's good for Andrew Cuomo, and thus far he's been able to make a fairly good career of it. Andy's not having the best week, as the assembly is poised to push back on his position that teachers should be judged on tests for which no one is prepared, and which 70% of our students fail.

In this astral plane, our self-proclaimed student lobbyist takes actions that, while perhaps hobbling public schools, enable huge donations from the likes of DFER and Eva Moskowitz. For example, we now have a tax cap. If costs go up 4% in your district, you can only raise the budget by 2% unless you get a super-majority of 60% approval. It's remarkable that someone who claims to support students can also support a bill that says people who say no to kids get more of a vote than those who say yes. Isn't one vote per person a basic tenet of democracy? Are there a lot of Democrats who don't actually support democracy?

Not only that, but Governor Cuomo supports a program that gives less state aid to our kids. In my district, we get almost 7 million dollars less as a result. That's about a thousand dollars lost to my kid alone. I'm not precisely sure we need a student lobbyist who actively seeks to give less to our children.

But that's what we have in Andrew Cuomo.

It's time for our unions to step up and help inform parents of Andrew Cuomo's rampant hypocrisy. If he supports public schools he needs to put his money where his mouth is. However, it's far more likely his mouth is really where he is.

In which case it's time for us to stop buying seats at his table. We need to set our own table, invite public school parents, and give Governor Andy no choice but to crawl and beg for a seat at ours. When we stand as one, even Moskowitz millions will pale in comparison. 
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