Saturday, January 06, 2018


Three years ago, going after public schools and teachers was a big state government priority for Andrew Cuomo in his State of the State address. There were many lines about how making the lives of teachers worse, which was accomplished back in 2015, would improve the state. It did not. Now, public schools and teachers are barely mentioned and we are certainly not emphasized in Cuomo's 2018 State of the State speech.

You can watch it here if you are really bored. You can find out about it here from this CBS NY report. Or, as an alternative, you can read the Village Voice interpretation which is what I did and enjoyed. Their piece is entitled: We Watched Cuomo's State of the State So You Don't Have To. It's kind of a Comedy Central type approach.

Here are some of the best bits for those who don't want to read the whole article.
AG is Aaron Gordon and DC is David Colon.

DC (quoting Cuomo): “Upstate New York is no longer treated as the forgotten stepchild of Albany.”

We now rig bids for upstate just like we do downstate.

AG: Now he’s railing against the federal government, which is always a crowd-pleaser.
DC: A whole lotta rolling back from the federal government.

AG: He said “rolling back” more often than a mid-2000s Walmart commercial.

DC: “Like Fat Joe, the federal government wants to lean back while New York is sent down the tubes.”

AG: 1:55 p.m. review: Cuomo has said absolutely nothing of substance so far.

DC: Ah, more Latin, “carpe diem” this time.

AG: And just like that, he says something of substance! He proposes no public funds be used to settle sexual harassment claims.

DC: Here’s your baby, Aaron, congestion pricing.


AG: Hell yeah, the panel is creating a report with options for the legislature to consider.

DC: I’m mad. I can’t believe we waited for months for a congestion pricing plan and we’re gonna get a report to consider.

AG: Well, that was a whole lot of nothing.

DC: I am apoplectic.

AG: Cuomo says they will challenge the federal tax bill in court as unconstitutional. As the old reporter adage says, wait to report on the lawsuit until it is filed.

DC: “State’s rights” are back, baby, and they’re good again. ::Wolf howl::

AG: So is “repeal and replace”…

Huh, Cuomo says they’re exploring the feasibility of switching from reliance on income to payroll tax. I feel like this is the type of thing you can’t really assess until you actually know what the plan is.

DC: “It’s complicated and it is difficult.”

Well, I can’t remember the last time anything described like that survived Albany.

AG: He keeps saying things like “we have no choice” about systemic issues that have existed for decades that he himself has done nothing to remedy.

DC: No, see, that’s WHY we have no choice. We had choices, we waited around for a few decades, and then, voilĂ !

AG: This speech has done wonders for making me feel even worse about the future.

I can't argue with that.

Now back to the speech. This is all I could find on the schools from the Village Voice duo:

DC: “We have to expand pre-K to three-year-olds. This was my idea, no one fact-check this.”
Ah, an extension of the “free” college program. “We must pass the DREAM Act,” check off another IDC calamity bingo box.

On the Janus Supreme Court case where union dues for public sector employees will almost definitely become optional in a few months:

AG: A brief bit about standing in solidarity with public sector unions given federal challenges to their legality, which definitely fills me with optimism he will stand up for meaningful MTA cost reforms.

I don't quite know what that stands in solidarity line means but you folks looking to withhold your union dues from what are essentially company unions should not count your chickens before they hatch as the company is standing in solidarity with us.

To sum up the entire speech, we finally have something optimistic from our reporters from the Village Voice.

AG: OK, David, what did you learn?
DC: That Andrew Cuomo will never be president.


Anonymous said...

The conventional wisdom was Donald Trump would never be president.

Abigail Shure

RBE said...

Wasn't it just four years ago that he promised to break the public school "monopoly?"

But opt out took the wind out of those sails, Eva Moskowitz became more trouble than she was worth (Cuomo helped her set up her Albany rally to promote her brand in 2014 - now he's happy to take her money but keeps his distance from her publicly) and a steady drumbeat of criticism from the left has him needing all the union support he can get to prop him up for 2018 and 2020.

How times have changed.

To be honest, the less he mentions education and public schools in his State of the State and/or budget addresses, the better off we are.


Bob said...

Any of this matter? How?

Anonymous said...

2 things: 1) If Cuomo tries to pull some bullshit where NYS public unions will have to pay dues even if Janus says we don't, there will be a lawsuit filed in about ten seconds from about a million right wing anti-union groups. 2) I wish that Cuomo and the legislature would scrap the whole BS teacher evaluation system and let individual districts decide how to evaluate teachers. In fact, I heard that NYSUT is actually pushing for that very change. (Shows that they have balls unlike the lame ass UFT)

Anonymous said...

I'd be very afraid of whatever the doe came up with. Unless the union grew a pair knowing Janus is coming and negotiated us something sane. I used to love teaching, now I'm miserable.

Anonymous said...

And while the case drags through the courts, don't bet on being able to keep your dues money.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Danielson, multiple observations for tenured teachers and Gotcha, surprise observations. Bring back right to grieve letters to file and Seniority transfers. Unbelievable our UNION ever allowed any of these to take place.

James Eterno said...

Dream on.

James Eterno said...

I don't mean to be dismissive. I agree with you totally. It is just that we have no leverage to obtain contractual gains.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately you are most likely correct. The only leverage we have left is a strike. Which the union will never do under our “Friend” Red Billy’s administration. However any of my “dreams” mentioned at 1:43 in the am would be extremely beneficial to teachers and would take power away from abusive administrators. -

Dumbfounded 20 year vet

Anonymous said...

P.S. love your blog and keep fighting the GOOD fight

Jr said...

So just shut up, at this point it wont change for the better. The next contract, we cant change it, so let it be. Either keep taking the money and abuse or quit.

James Eterno said...

Or help organize a real union. Then we could fight for real.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, because there have been so many changes for the better in the last 15 years.