Monday, January 16, 2012

Cuomo's Slow Education

A great WSJ editorial pushing Cuomo:

Andrew Cuomo says he wants to be New York's school reform Governor. That sounds great, but it's going to require bolder leadership than setting up another education commission like the one he proposed last week.

In 2010, as part of an effort to qualify for $700 million in federal Race to the Top grants, New York passed a law that called for a teacher evaluation system. Eighteen months later, no such system is in place. The state law requires that each school district reach agreement with local teachers unions on evaluations, and unions have been unwilling to cooperate. Now there's a shocker.

…If Mr. Cuomo wants to help New York's schoolchildren, especially kids trapped in low-performing schools that employ the worst teachers, his best vehicle is the budget he'll submit later this month, not another bipartisan commission. The Governor could call for a new, meaningful state-wide evaluation system that weighs student test scores; provides a speedy process for disciplining and ousting bad teachers; and puts teachers unions on notice that they will either accept an evaluation system with teeth or have one imposed on them.

Mr. Cuomo's approval rating is near 70%, which is political capital he could use to take on the education status quo. The alternative is waiting for reform "buy-in" from unions that have repeatedly demonstrated that student well-being is secondary to the interests of their members. Either that or Mr. Cuomo should give back the $700 million that his state was granted under false pretenses.

Cuomo's Slow Education

New York should give back its Race to the Top money.

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