Cuomo Lays Out Plan to Destroy Public Education

We have seen this coming for a while, but that didn’t lessen the sting of Governor Cuomo’s plan for public education that he laid out in his 2015 State of the State and budget proposal today.

Via Capitol Confidential

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s combination State of the State and budget proposal includes tough reforms that would overhaul the teacher evaluation formula, require two more years on the job for a teacher to attain tenure, and make it easier to fire ineffective educators.

On evaluations, Cuomo wants to see the current formula — 20 percent based on state testing, 20 percent on a local standard, and 60 percent based on qualitative measures such as classroom observation — swapped out for a system that gives equal measure to state testing (or, in certain cases, some other standard that measures work over an academic year) and 50 percent based on at least two observations performed by an administrator, an independent evaluator or an appointed faculty member at a SUNY or CUNY school of education.

While teachers can now attain tenure after three years, Cuomo would push that to five years and require them to maintain ratings of “effective” or “highly effective.”

On teacher removal, Cuomo would reform the “3020-A” hearing process by creating a presumption in favor of administrators in cases of educational incompetence, and an expedited 60-day process for teachers accused of physical or sexual abuse of a child.

In another shot across the bow of state teachers unions, Cuomo wants to increase the current cap on charter schools by 100 schools (to 560), and dissolve the regional caps to make that number a statewide tally. New York City has only two dozen charter slots remaining under the current inventory.

To summarize the overall education proposal…

  • Cuomo wants the APPR revamped so that 50% of a teacher’s evaluation is based on standardized test scores.  The other 50% will be based on observations which could be conducted by an administrator, an “independent observer,” a SUNY or CUNY professor, or a “trained independent evaluator.”  Of course if the state test score shows you to be ineffective the observation doesn’t matter and you are judged to be “ineffective.”  Two consecutive such ratings results in your dismissal.
  • Cuomo wants to extend tenure for probationary teachers.  In order to receive tenure probationary teachers would now need to earn five consecutive “effective” or “highly effective” ratings.
  • The charter cap has been increased to allow 100 new charter schools to steal money from public schools.
  • The tax cap becomes permanent under Cuomo’s budget proposal as well.
  • Schools that are “failing schools” for three consecutive years would have their control turned over to “turnaround experts.”
  • The establishment of a backdoor voucher plan pushed by the Catholic Church described here by Reality-Based Educator.

Overall Cuomo called for an increase in state aid of $1.1 billion.  However, there is a catch.  If the legislature does not pass Cuomo’s reform agenda the budget will only include an increase of $377 million.  In other words Cuomo is bribing the state lawmakers to pass an agenda that is abusive to children and that seeks to eviscerate our profession.

Plenty more to come on this…

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