Sunday, November 02, 2014


Educators are condemning Governor Andrew Cuomo for the teacher bashing comments he made to the Daily News. Even State union President Karen Magee responded positively to a letter Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino wrote to teachers. 

Astorino appears to be better than Cuomo on education but he is not with us on way too many issues including the expansion of charter schools and public money going to private schools.  This is from his education plan:

-"Provide more school choices for parents of children in schools determined to be failing, including more charter school availability and vouchers for private or religious school." This is not our friend.

There is no doubt in this election who has the best education plan and that is the Green Party's Howie Hawkins.

ICE-UFT has unanimously endorsed Hawkins, so did MORE, as have a group of NYSUT locals including the Buffalo Federation of Teachers and our friends at the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association.

Hawkins and his Lt. Governor running mate Brian Jones pledge to support public education and worker rights.  You can read their letter to teachers here.

MORE lays out the positions of the candidates rather well in this chart.

As for how to respond to Cuomo labeling public schools a monopoly, we need to call him out on it.  Cuomo would replace that so called monopoly with a rigged game where families can choose a charter school but the charter can counsel students out if they don't fit in and guess who has to educate everyone the charters don't want: the public schools. His plan, if implemented, would probably end up leading to the re-segregation of the schools. Public education is a constitutional right in this state.  We cannot let Andrew Cuomo dismantle one of the bedrocks of our republic.

Cuomo's sole defender in the education union world right about now is the one and only AFT President Randi Weingarten, as reported in Capital NY.  No surprise there.

I'm voting for Howie Hawkins for Governor and Brian Jones for Lt. Governor and ICE urges our supporters to do the same. I don't agree with everything they have ever said or done but clearly in this election they are easily the best option for those who care about public schools.


NYC Educator said...

I agree with you that Hawkins is the choice. I strongly disagree that Astorino is better than Cuomo.

In addition to his well-documented opposition to the Triborough Agreement, which is currently the only thing that mitigates the draconian Taylor Law, Astorino also supports vouchers and tax credits, as documented by the link above.

If you think Scott Walker campaigned for Astorino because he supports public education, I have a bridge to sell you. While we may share the Tea Party opposition to Common Core, we don't remotely subscribe to their basic philosophy, which is not supportive of public education. Astorino, in fact, has repeatedly declared that Cuomo's crippling school tax policies do not go far enough.

Anonymous said...

I am voting Hawkins too.

Anonymous said...

I see your point NYC Educator but Cuomo declared open war against us. Astorino is unacceptable but if he were to pull a major upset, would anyone shed a tear? Democrats would still control the Assembly. The world would not end. Triborough would not be repealed. Democrats might actually act like Democrats.

James Eterno said...

We here at ICE hear the voice of the people. Due to the strong words of NYC Educator, we are convinced to change the wording from Astorino is better than Cuomo on education to Astorino appears to be better. Hope this clears up any possible confusion about where we stand on the election.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Still tempted to vote for Astorino. Hawkins doesn't have a prayer. So. . . Better to cast a vote for someone who could use my vote to win. Make Cuomo pay. Honestly, what is doing the most damage to teachers is the black box eval system, and Astorino will undo that. His other initiatives are largely being done already, so who cares?

Anonymous said...

no way on Cuomo and no way for a Republican - yes for Hawkins

Anonymous said...

It looks as if the DEMS are going to be routed on Tuesday. Unfortunately, that probably won't be the case here in NY. I like the fact that Astorino was shrewd enough to get a ballot line to "Stop the Common Core." He'll get my vote on that line. The DEMS just don't deserve the teacher vote anymore. Hawkins is better for public education too. But it's rare to be able to cast a vote for a candidate on ONE issue. My vote against the Common Core will stand as a vote against all education reform and education "reformers." If you vote for Howie Hawkins pollsters and pols might construe your vote as a vote against "fracking."

ed notes online said...

I'm done with lesser of 2 evils. Dems so marginally "better" than Republicans as to be almost moot. I don't care who wins the Senate. In fact the Dems become a distraction to the real battle to organize people to the point where Hawkins might have a chance. Pipe dreams? Start with the union and work out from there.

Anonymous said...

In this election the Republican is better than the democrat.

Anonymous said...

Sorry-although Hawkins appears to be pro-labor-but I won't vote for him as-he has publicly said he is against the actions taken by Israel. As a governor of NYS-he will be out of touch with many New Yorkers. Cuomo appears to be the better evil than Astorino.