Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cuomo strong on reform

This is HUGE for NY: the likely next governor, Andrew Cuomo, has come out STRONGLY on the side of reform.  Here's an excerpt from his web site (; page 138):


New York must be the leader when it comes to education reform. This starts with the increasing the charter school cap from 200 to 460. But increasing the cap won't result in more charter schools if we too tightly restrict where they can be located or how they can be approved. We believe that public review and consultation are important—especially when charter schools will be co-located with traditional public schools—but this cannot become a poison pill that prevents opening new charter schools. 


As Governor, Andrew Cuomo will also oppose arbitrarily limiting the number of charter schools that can operate in a school district. And because SUNY has done a good job in approving and monitoring charter schools, we should continue to allow SUNY to have shared authority for approving charter schools with the Board of Regents—which to its credit has become more supportive of charter schools in recent years. 


As a strong supporter of charter schools, Andrew Cuomo understands how important it is to retain high standards and strong accountability. Charter schools that fail to perform at the levels promised at the time the charter school application was granted should be closed. Andrew Cuomo also supports provisions that will require charter schools to increase their enrollment of special education and ELL students—so that they are comparable to levels of neighboring schools. 


Finally, in order to win the race to the top in education means being committed to the four education reform principles that underlay the federal Race to the Top process: (1) a commitment to rigorous standards and assessments; (2) recruiting, preparing and supporting great teachers and school principals; (3) building instructional data systems that measure student success and inform teachers and principals how they can improve their teaching practices; and (4) turning around struggling schools.  


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