Saturday, December 12, 2015


I should know by now that when I read another victory email from the UFT that it is meaningless.

Thanks to the blogger Sullio (via NYC Educator), who writes The Pen is Mightier than the Person blog, for reading through the Governor's press release on Cuomo's education Task Force Report.  Buried at the bottom of the press release there is proof that the point of the Task Force was basically to make parents, teachers, students and the media think education policy was changing when virtually nothing of substance is different.  Test and punish and Common Core are alive and well.  The teaching profession looks like it is in the same dire straits as it was before the Task Force Report was released.

From the bottom of the Governor's press release:

The Education Transformation Act of 2015 will remain in place, and no new legislation is required to implement the recommendations of the report, including recommendations regarding the transition period for consequences for students and teachers.  During the transition, the 18 percent of teachers whose performance is measured, in part, by Common Core tests will use different local measures approved by the state, similar to the measures already used by the majority of teachers.

We have won virtually nothing. The only ones who have been fooled are the people who get excited (including me for about half a second) when President Michael Mulgrew sends out another triumphant email where he claims:

Governor Cuomo's Common Core Task Force issued its report. In essence, the task force report urges a fundamental reset of education policy in New York State, including a four-year ban on the use of state growth scores to evaluate both teachers and students.

This is no fundamental reset.  As Sullio and Perdido Street School have both pointed out, instructional shifts from Common Core remain.  Here is the actual language from the Task Force Report on the revising of the standards:

These standards should be educator-driven and incorporate New York’s commitment to rigorous expectations for all students yet maintain the key instructional shifts set forth in the Common Core Standards.

Do a quick google search for instructional shifts and a New York City Department of Education Webpage shows up with all of the stifling Common Core nonsense that teachers rightfully complain about every day. There will be tweaks for sure but I highly doubt they will have much significance.

I will leave it to Sullio to put it all in perspective:

Additionally, everything else in the Lobbyist for the Student's (Cuomo) infamous Education Transformation Act remains, including receivership and weakened due process rights.  As Cuomo maintains, the law will not change.  The test is still king.

Sadly, we are in an era where we can't trust our union leadership and the political process.  My biggest hope for some justice yesterday was hearing about federal prosecutor Preet Bharara's Tweet after former New York State Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos and his son were convicted on corruption charges.

How many prosecutions will it take before Albany gives the people of New York the honest government they deserve?
Cuomo's Task Force recommending little of substance but saying they are "overhauling" Common Core is just a little move evidence that we don't have that honest government in New York.


Harris L. said...

I accept that not many "real people" follow education policy as closely as we do. I am not surprised or chagrined when folks who I think should "know better" fall for the quick soundbite that "NCLB has been overturned" and that "education policy will be better now that the states run it" because, well, who has the time or inclination to follow the minutiae of this stuff but the people most closely affected by any of it.

I have nothing but contempt for the people who do "know better" and want to sell us out under cover of "NCLB has been overturned" or "what wonderfulness, the states now run education policy" and here I mean, in no particular order: Michael Mulgrew, Diane Ravitch, Randi Weingarten, 46 Democratic Senators (here's looking at you, Bernie Sanders), Lily Eskelsen Garcia, 17 Democratic governors, Karen Magee and the 103 members of the Democratic caucus--"Heavy Hearts Club"--in the New York State Assembly.

Anonymous said...

New Jersey is currently running my district Newark. I fail to see any advantage over Federal mismanagement.

Abigail Shure

Anonymous said...

These last two comments say it all.

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