Ralliers were largely made up of teachers, union leaders and parents, all unhappy with Cuomo’s move toward relying more heavily on standardized testing as a means for assessing teacher performance, increasing the presence of charter schools in the city, and potentially handing over troubled schools to “outside groups,” as the New York Daily News put it. Think Detroit, Michigan.
Maybe he wants to talk about all these bad ideas so we’re not talking about that he owes us a lot of money.
But all Cuomo seems to want to talk about is holding back over $1 billion in additional public school funding if legislators don’t play ball and bow down to his wishes in the next state budget.
Demonstrators formed human chains around school buildings to show their disapproval.
PTA president of PS200, in Brooklyn, Concetta Aloi, stated:
There is too much focus and too much stress on testing. All the parents think too much time is spent on preparing kids for tests instead of learning the curriculum.
American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten joined Mulgrew to attend many of the rallies, not to mention City Hall, where they voiced their solidarity with City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Queens). Dromm is the Education Committee chairman.
Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn) commented on Cuomo’s intentions:
Receivership is [a] code word for ‘privatization,’ and New York City schools are not for sale.
The New York Daily News reports, however, that Cuomo spokesperson Dani Lever says, contrary to public opinion, the governor is simply, “fighting to reform a system that has condemned 250,000 children to failing schools over the last decade.”
Frankly, the louder special interests scream – and today they were screaming at the top of their lungs – the more we know we’re right.
Earlier in the month, Cuomo released a report stating over 50,000 students are currently enrolled in 91 different failing schools across the city, costing $20,000 per student.
City school officials feel closing 18 of the 91 failing schools, while providing additional resources to 53 of the other schools, puts Cuomo’s agenda in a favorable light.