Here's what Gov. Cuomo had to say about public education during the State of the State address today:
As we reimagine government, we must focus on our core values.
The future of our state depends on our public schools. A strong, effective school system is the hallmark of a healthy democracy.
We must make our schools accountable for the results they achieve and the dollars they spend.
I learned my most important lesson in my first year as Governor in the area of public education. I learned that everyone in public education has his or her own lobbyist.
Superintendents have lobbyists. Principals have lobbyists. Teachers have lobbyists. School boards have lobbyists.
Maintenance personnel have lobbyists. Bus drivers have lobbyists.
The only group without a lobbyist? The students.
Well, I learned my lesson. This year, I will take a second job — consider me the lobbyist for the students. I will wage a campaign to put students first, and to remind us that the purpose of public education is to help children grow, not to grow the public education bureaucracy.
Today, we are driven by the business of public education more than the achievement in public education. Maybe that’s why we spend more money than any other state but are 38th in graduation rates.
We have to change the paradigm. We need major reform in two areas:
- Teacher accountability and student achievement. We need a meaningful teacher evaluation system. The legislation enacted in 2010 to qualify for Race to the Top didn’t work.
- Management efficiency. We must make our schools accountable for the results they achieve and the dollars they spend.
We cannot fail in our mission to reform public education, because we simply cannot fail our children.
I will appoint a bipartisan education commission to work with the Legislature to recommend reforms in these key areas.
- Mary Pasciak