Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New York Badass Teachers Association
For Immediate Release - October 29, 2014
Information Contact
Marla Kilfoyle, General Manager

Melissa Tomlinson, Asst. General Manager
contact.batmanager@gmail.com

NEW YORK BADASS TEACHERS ASSOCIATION OUTRAGED AT CUOMO’S COMMENT TO “BREAK” PUBLIC EDUCATION!

The New York State Badass Teachers Association, an organization of over 2000 educators, was enraged today to read comments made by Governor Cuomo to the Daily News editorial board [http://m.nydailynews.com/…/cuomo-vows-bust-school-monopoly-…]. It was reported that Governor Cuomo stated emphatically that he would “break” the state’s public school system. His plan to end this “public monopoly” would include expanding charters, tougher teacher evaluations, and a continued agenda to punish the children and families who choose to attend New York's public schools.

We have already endured a roll-out of evaluations Cuomo himself has called “a disaster.”  Its byzantine algorithms fraught with inaccuracy and called “arbitrary and capricious” are in a legal challenge announced this week. Even more absurdly, the current evaluations actually attribute student test scores in Math and English Language Arts to teachers of other subjects, such as music, art, gym, foreign language, and others.

Schools that struggle with high poverty rates have been hit hardest under Cuomo’s education agenda. This needs to be investigated fully as a civil rights violation mandated by Cuomo towards our children that attend these struggling schools.

NY teacher Jamy Brice Hyde stated, “Public schools are not a business therefore not a monopoly. The monopoly is in the Charter school movement where public tax dollars go to private business. THIS IS TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.”

“Charters do not in any way get held accountable by any objective evaluation or standard--nor are they compelled to follow Common Core or any other state mandate. That's like having a race where one runner has to carry a cannon ball while the other gets to use roller skates,” stated former NY teacher Steve Corso.

Bronx teacher Aixa Rodriguez and BAT DREAM Manager commented strongly, “Cuomo is once again giving into special interests and attacking public education, teachers unions, and therefore parents and children.”

Cuomo’s choice of words shows a distorted understanding of public versus private enterprise. Matt Steiniger adds “To call public education a monopoly is to presume that education is a marketplace. The implication here is that there is profit to be gained. Education is a public good. The only people that should be allowed to exploit education for personal gain are the students.”

Finally, NY BAT Sue Parla commented, “ I wonder why Cuomo is fighting so hard against teachers when he could be opening a dialog with us to find out what will truly help our schools. The underlying issue is those who are funding his campaign. He puts their desire to make money off privatization over the needs of children.”

New York teachers go to the polls on Tuesday to vote. No teacher in New York State should vote for Cuomo. NY BATs have officially endorsed the Hawkins/Jones Green Party ticket for their support of public education, its children, parents, and teachers. VOTE GREEN!


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