Dear Commons Community,
Manfred Phillip (Graduate Center and Lehman College) passed this piece on to the CUNY University Faculty Senate LISTSERV.
No Teachers, Administrators Named to Cuomo Education Panel!
By Gary Stern
School officials are surprised and bewildered that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new commission on education reform does not include representatives of school districts — administrators, board members, teachers or parents. The high-powered commission, announced by Cuomo last week, includes 20 members, most of whom are academics or leaders of think tanks unknown to the general public.
“If I was setting up a commission like this, I would want representatives from school districts because we’re the ones who
actually educate children,” Port Chester Schools Superintendent Edward Kliszus said. “It’s a shame they won’t have input from educators who do the educating.”
Cuomo is charging the commission with a top-to-bottom review of New York’s education system, including: teacher recruitment and performance; student achievement; education costs and funding; the challenges facing poor districts; and the best use of technology. The governor asked for preliminary recommendations by Dec. 1.
Several officials from the Lower Hudson Valley said they agree with Cuomo’s agenda, but that school representatives are regularly left out of the state’s reform efforts.
“It appears that the public school educators who will be asked to actually implement the recommendations and are most familiar with the disparate challenges within each school system and in districts across the state will not be involved,” South Orangetown Schools
Superintendent Ken Mitchell said.
One member of the commission, Michael Rebell, executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Columbia University’s Teachers College, said he agreed with educators’ concerns about the commission’s makeup.
“You can’t make solid policy without knowing how people on the front lines respond to these problems and issues,” he said. “If you’re going to have solutions that work, you have to engage people so they will support your proposals. I’m committed to reaching out to school boards, parents, educators, to get them in the conversation.”
Chancellor Goldstein and Vice Chancellor Marti are members of the