Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cuomo's education agenda picks up where Bloomberg left off | Capital New York

Cuomo's education agenda picks up where Bloomberg left off | Capital New York:



Cuomo’s education agenda picks up where Bloomberg left off



It can be easy to forget, as Governor Andrew Cuomo promotes his aggressive education reform agenda, that he only recently became the most prominent champion of the cause in New York.
Before Cuomo took office, and continuing right up to the election of Mayor Bill de Blasio, that champion was Michael Bloomberg.
Cuomo doesn't go out of his way to credit the former mayor—or anyone, really—for influencing his thinking on education. But it's clear that the program he has been advocating, and which he has promised to prioritize in the coming session in Albany, draws heavily on the agenda of Bloomberg and, in particular, former New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein.
Merit pay for teachers who help raise their students’ test scores, stricter teacher evaluations with more weight on exams, support for charter schools and little patience for struggling schools are national reform initiatives ushered into New York City during the decade Klein served as chancellor.
Now, Cuomo is elevating those proposals to the state level, and assuming the mantle of education reform for New York as the teacher-friendly de Blasio administration directs policy out of City Hall.
Cuomo's role as a key player on local education policy took shape rather dramatically last year during the fight over the future of New York's charter schools, when the governor saw an opportunity to establish his dominance in education policy (and over his erstwhile colleague de Blasio). While Cuomo had been a consistent supporter of teacher evaluations and charters, his role as a fully formed education reformer sprung to life during that 2014 legislative session.
The collection of policies he embraced bore a particularly close resemblance to that of Bloomberg and Klein.
“What was percolating then is now boiling,” said David Cantor, Klein’s longtime former press secretary. “Cuomo has picked up the pieces of reform that have been out there and sort of thrust them together.”
Some of those ideas were embraced nationally by the Obama administration and U.S. Department of Education secretary Arne Duncan, in other cities, most prominently by former Washington D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee. But the Bloomberg-Klein Cuomo's education agenda picks up where Bloomberg left off | Capital New York:

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