Governor’s Office Sends Letter to Commissioner and Chancellor Looking for Answers

ACuomoThe link below contains a link to a letter dated today, December 18, from Governor Cuomo’s director of operations, Jim Malatras. The letter is addressed to Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Commissioner King, and requests responses “without political filters or consideration of the power of special interests” to twelve sets of “questions Governor Cuomo heard from New Yorkers.” In his closing paragraph, Mr. Malatras requests to receive the chancellor’s and commissioner’s responses by December 31.

The questions are far-reaching and are of import to all educators. The questions also clearly signal the governor’s legislative agenda in regard to:

  •  APPR,
  • Teacher certification,
  • Teacher probation and tenure,
  • Performance incentives for teachers,
  • Removing poor performing educators,
  • Steps to be taken with “…priority or struggling schools – schools that condemn generation of kids to poor educations and thus poor life prospects,”
  • A vision for charter schools,
  • The use of technology to improve public education,
  • Mayoral control in New York City and in other municipalities,
  • School mergers, consolidations, or regionalization,
  • Selecting and appointing members to the Board of Regents, and
  • For appointment of the new education commissioner, development of a process that is “open and transparent…so parents, teachers, and legislators have a voice.”

Although the initial portion of the letter asserts that the governor “believes in public education,” the overall tenor of the letter is pointed and smacks of a contentious predisposition stating, “The education bureaucracy’s mission is to sustain the bureaucracy and the status quo and therefore it is the enemy of change.”