New York Public Schools And Governor Andrew Cuomo: An Essay, In List Form
A point-by-point commentary on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s newly-announced education plan.*
- New York State now has most racially and economically segregated schools in the nation, worse than Mississippi.
- New York is violating Campaign for Fiscal Equity ruling of highest state court to provide full, equitable funding to high poverty schools.
- As a result, New York State owes $6 billion it had promised to school districts with concentrations of poverty.
- One would think that a Democratic Governor would be focused on correcting such educational injustices. But not Andrew Cuomo.
- Cuomo is proposing tax credits (aka vouchers) that would divert funds and resources from underfunded public schools to private schools.
- Poor and working class kids, students of color who attend public schools would be hurt.
- Cuomo is 1st ever Democratic Governor to propose tax credits for private schools, says conservative Checker Finn.
- League of Women Voters, Civil Liberties Union, school board ass., sup'ts ass't., teachers union all opposed to Cuomo’s tax credit scheme.
- The problem with our public schools, Cuomo says, is teachers.
- Teachers think: how convenient that Cuomo, who ignores his responsibilities regarding school segregation and funding, blames us.
- Cuomo wants to evaluate teachers using standardized test scores, rather than observations by professional educators.
- Tests are objective, he says, and professional educators don’t fire enough teachers for me.
- Cuomo disregards that Rand, National Academy of Sciences and others say test scores should not be used this way.
- American Statistical Association makes best case against using test scores in evaluation.
- Cuomo overlooks that majority of teachers don’t teach classes with tests that can be used be for evaluations.
- Cuomo also proposes eliminating cap on number of New York charter schools.
- New York charter schools don’t educate their fair share of students with greatest needs.
- Charters have fewer students w/special needs, English Language Learners, homeless than public district schools.
- Charters suspend many more students, overwhelmingly black and brown, than district public schools.
- But with co-location, NYC charters get $2K more in per pupil public funding than public district schools.
- Yet NY charters argue that they should not be audited like other schools receiving public $.
- NY Charters also get large private donations, and have many more $ than public schools to spend.
- Charters such as Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academies spend funds on million $ public relations campaigns.
- Cuomo expresses outrage at outsized superintendent salaries in wealthy school districts.
- But is silent as charter ally Eva Moskowitz takes in far more, well over $500K, for running handful of schools.
- When Moskowitz closes down schools & steals students’ instruction time to bring them to political rallies, Cuomo speaks at her rallies.
- But charters have one thing public district schools do not: wealthy Wall Street backers.
- At the end of the day, Andrew Cuomo has a funding plan for his election campaigns, not an education plan for NY schools and students.
- Leo Casey
* These points were originally shared on Twitter. Each is limited to 140 characters in length, and they are numbered to capture the development of the argument.