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The governor stands up for the students

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - Updated: 7:13 AM

Gov. Cuomo calls himself "the students' lobbyist." Last week, he showed why.

Last Monday, Cuomo blasted the Board of Regents (which oversees New York's public schools) for moving to ease measures meant to hold teachers accountable for whether they are doing their jobs. He did so because the board was expected to OK a plan that would have let teachers blame any poor performance by students on state proficiency tests on a supposedly sloppy rollout of the Common Core curriculum. The result would have been to make it even harder to fire ineffective teachers.

To his credit, the governor came down on the idea like a ton of bricks. He called it -- rightly -- yet "another excuse to stop the teacher-evaluation process," which the Regents had stalled for years. The move, he said, "suggests the time has come to seriously re-examine" the board's performance.

Guess what: The board back-pedaled, delaying action on the idea. Kudos to Cuomo: New York's students dodged a bullet.

But the danger has not passed. The board will take up the issue again in April. And even though the board didn't succeed in changing the measures, it has lowered the bar by putting off until 2022 the tougher test scores required for graduation. The board agreed to that one after misbegotten whines from some parents who evidently think it better to send their children into the world unprepared.

Cuomo bemoaned the limits of a governor's power over the schools. He has a point, given that the Regents are picked by a Legislature controlled by Democrats, who are, in turn, in thrall to teachers unions. But governors aren't powerless, as Cuomo proved this week.

As he said, the educrats have long fought any effort to hold them accountable. That's not going to change. Which makes the governor one of the few leaders standing between New York's students and the education blob that cares more about shielding teachers than teaching children.

-- The New York Post

     

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