Cuomo Signals Changes for Education Next Year
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signaled on Thursday that he intended to push next year for sweeping changes to the state's education system, with goals that include making it easier to fire low-performing teachers and increasing the number of charter schools.
…But the letter indicated that Mr. Cuomo planned to use his considerable power in the budget process and clearly laid out his views as the regents prepared to select Mr. King's successor.
Education reform groups were nearly celebratory in response to the letter.
"Governor Cuomo continues to show his genuine commitment to our state's students and is asking all the right questions to get them the education they deserve," said Jenny Sedlis, the executive director ofStudentsFirst NY, a group that advocates tougher teacher evaluations, fewer teacher tenure protections and the creation of more charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run. Several of the group's board members were major donors to Mr. Cuomo's re-election campaign.
Union leaders, meanwhile, criticized the governor for not addressing issues like school funding, class sizes and poverty, and accused him of the wholesale adoption of his backers' agenda.
Teachers' unions have criticized the growth of charter schools, which tend to be nonunion, as taking resources from traditional schools.
"This letter comes right out of the playbook of the hedge funders for whom education 'reform' has become a pet cause and who poured money into the Cuomo re-election campaign," Michael Mulgrew, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, the New York City teachers' union, said in a statement.