Thursday, September 23, 2010

Andrew Cuomo's Education Platform is Weak

The Times reported Thursday that recent polls show the governor's race is closer than expected. Regarding leading candidate Andrew Cuomo, the Times relates how senior Democratic officials "privately expressed concerns that he was not doing enough to galvanize his own base."

Have a look at the very limited education points in Cuomo's 250-page positions document. He focuses on improving efficiency of education spending by reducing mandates, unlimited expansion of charter schools and the tired Race to the Top agenda of more testing and school "turnarounds" through closings and charter conversions.

Cuomo has been criticized previously for being too close to the hedge fund moguls backing charters, more testing and the de-professionalization of teaching. There's unfortunately nothing in his current platform to galvanize NYC voters focused on education.


Tim said...

I'm not sure where you're seeing "unlimited expansion of charters". Cuomo's report clearly states that he'd lift the cap to 460, which is a fait accompli.

Paladino, on the other hand, does want unlimited charters, with an immediate goal of a *minimum* of 500. He also wants to abolish/rewrite tenure laws, change the state constitution with respect to pensions, lengthen the school day and year (which I actually would like to see), introduce vouchers, demand the resignation of the Board of Regents, and have strict "takeover" measures implemented for failing schools and districts (presumably NYC?). And then there's his general pledge to slash spending on social services across the board, which would put additional pressures on school funding.

Paladino is a Grover Norquist-style ideologue who wants government to simply disappear. There is ample evidence that suggests he is a dyed-in-the-wool racist. He will challenge state municipalities, including New York City, to vigorously enforce immigration laws. He will add NYS to the lawsuit attempting to stop health care reform. He is opposed to a woman's right to choose and would do everything under his power and influence to limit access to care. Quality of life issues relating to the environment, conservation, energy, etc. aren't even on this guy's radar unless it's in the context of abolishing regulations or making existing regulations more friendly to corporations.

Anti-Cuomo sentiment would have made sense a year ago, with a push for a more education-friendly, traditional Democratic candidate. But now? This is a bigger no-brainer than Obama vs. McCain.

Patrick J. Sullivan said...


His document says the raise to 460 is the start and then goes on to say "As Governor, Andrew Cuomo will also oppose arbitrarily limiting the number of charter schools that can operate in a school district." pg 139.

Clearly Cuomo is comfortable with unlimited expansion of charters in urban districts like mine.

I'm not endorsing Paladino nor am I comparing the platforms. I just don't see much from Cuomo on education. Is your idea that support for Cuomo should be based on the fact that his opponent is worse? That's all?


Tim said...


You're right. He would not object to removing the 214-school cap for NYC while keeping the cap at 460 for the state, so I see your point (although this would not mean 'unlimited' charters for NYC).

But yeah, support for Cuomo should be based on the fact that his opponent is far worse. We could probably spend every minute between now and November 2 discussing why this isn't fair and cataloging the innumerable flaws with modern politics. The upshot is that the Republicans have nominated a crazy person for governor, and whatever Cuomo's shortcomings may be, they are a patch on the real harm that a Paladino governorship could do.

(Fortunately, the Siena and upcoming Marist polls are showing that New Yorkers are returning to their senses somewhat.)

NYC Educator said...
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NYC Educator said...

I will not vote for an anti-union, pro-corporate agenda candidate. As for it being as clear as between Obama and McCain, I agree, and while I would never have pulled the lever for McCain, I sorely regret having voted for a man who applauds the mass firing of RI teachers, a man who seems to take marching orders from Bill Gates, a man who promised hope and change and delivered a continuation and amplification of GW's education policies.

I wonder whether Democrats would have supported this nonsense if McCain had won. I have never voted against a Democrat in my life. Andrew Cuomo will be the very first when I blacken a circle for Howie Hawkins, Green candidate. Obama fooled me, but I know what Cuomo is.

If Democrats will not stand up for working people, who needs them? Not my daughter, who wants to be a teacher. I've always felt terrible when the Democrats took a bath.

Not this year. No more voting for cynical opportunists bought off by DFER who don't give a damn about us or our children.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you NYC Educator. Don't take my vote for granted anymore.