Archives for category: New York

Governor Cuomo announced his commission to revise the Common Core standards and it includes not a single parent leader of the opt out movement. The reason for the commission was to respond to the opt out movement, but no one on the commission speaks for the parents and guardians of the 220,000 students who did not take the test.

If you look at the members of the commission, you will see MaryEllen Elia, the state commissioner, plus the chair of the Senate Education Committee and the House Education Committee. The commission will be chaired by Richard Parsons, a respected banker. The commission includes some educators, but they all have day jobs.

Read the responsibilities of the commission. It is supposed to review the standards and the tests, among many other assignments. Here is the title of the press release:

Task Force to Perform Comprehensive Review of Learning Standards, Instructional Guidance and Curricula, and Tests to Improve Implementation and Reduce Testing Anxiety

Does anyone seriously believe that this commission has the expertise or the time to do what they are supposed to do?

Can anyone explain why there is no one on the commission to speak for the parents who opted their children out of the state testing?

Despite the claims by top officials that parents were free to make the decision to opt out, the new Cuomo law will place struggling schools into receivership if they don’t reach a 95% participation rate in testing.

If this requirement is extended to all schools, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will be in charge of hundreds of schools, including some of the best schools in the state. More opt outs, more chaos.

If opt outs should increase next spring, the whole system will collapse.

At Governor Andrew Cuomo’s insistence, New York has compiled a list of the state’s low-performing schools that have been given an ultimatum: improve significantly in one or two years or go into “receivership.”

in this post, Buffalo board member Dr. Barbara Nevergold describes State Commissioner MaryEllen Elia’s intense interest in Buffalo schools. She has visited Buffalo twice and held numerous meetings her second time. She was especially interested in two schools: Burgard and South Park High Schools.

Dr. Nevergold writes:

“The Commissioner was blunt regarding her assessment of the situation at Burgard and South Park High Schools. She came armed with data regarding teacher effectiveness ratings and student performance as measured by standardized tests. Wasting no time, she told Burgard and South Park staffs that she discerned a “disconnect” between these two measures. She said that while the majority of teachers, in both schools, were evaluated as effective or highly effective, student achievement was not correspondingly ranked. In other words, students with effective teachers are expected to receive test scores that mirror their teachers’ ratings. How did they explain this discrepancy, she queried? The staff members were hard pressed to respond. Her assertion about this disconnect and her question left no doubt that the Commissioner believes that there is a “connect” between these two measures. Although, not a subject for in-depth discussion, the pointed attention given this issue communicated the Commissioner’s support for the hotly contested teacher evaluation system pushed by the Governor and the Legislature.”

Clearly, the Commissioner believes that there is a direct connection between student test scores and teacher ratings. In this, she mirrors Governor Cuomo’s (uninformed) views.

Not everyone agrees with Elia. Buffalo teacher Sean Crowley hits her upside the head for trusting test scores as measures of teacher quality. He criticizes her for blaming teachers who persevere in two of the state’s toughest schools, where teachers have been attacked by students.

Crowley writes:

“Her contempt for the dedicated teachers at South Park and Burgard couldn’t be any more obvious. I spent my first 5 years teaching at Burgard and the day I broke up a knife fight in a hallway during lunchtime I went home and wrote out my request for a transfer. The knife wielder has since been incarcerated for a fatal knife attack during a home invasion. He stands a chance of being paroled next month too by the way. I accepted a position for the following year at South Park the school where a security guard had been shot by a student in a hallway a few months earlier. I guess I was using the lightning can’t strike twice in the same spot logic. MaryEllen Elia’s fuzzy homecoming stories about Sweet Home don’t cut it when you talk about the environment of these two schools. And what’s really amazing about them both is the number of hard core dedicated teachers you’ll find at Burgard and South Park shaking off the adversity coming to work, handling everything that gets thrown at them. And yes things like staplers, chairs and books are among the items thrown at them.

“MaryEllen Elia has Buffalo in her sights. She has no time for the realities of the communities that produce so many kids who don’t do well on standardized tests. She has no insight or compassion or respect for the teachers who spend their days with kids from unbearably adversarial homes and neighborhoods. She doesn’t want to hear it. She has no place in her head or her heart for this data. In Elia’s head these teachers don’t deserve to be rated anything above ineffective if their students don’t score well on tests that are purposely created to be too difficult in order to create the illusion of bad teaching and failure. She is sticking to her script. We all know the endgame of her script is to fire as many teachers as possible and weaken teacher’s unions enough that the forces of privatization can be sent in to “save the day.” They won’t of course but that’s not really the objective here anyway.”

situation and the dissension on the board. Although she doesn’t mention it, Carl Paladino is a member of the school board; not only did he run against Cuomo in his first race for governor, but he is a charter school owner and real estate developer. Conflict of interest?

Dr. Nevergold writes:

“The designation of 25 Buffalo schools as “persistently struggling” or “struggling” by the New York State Education Department is the most recent decision that has a major consequence for the District. The District has one year with the 5 schools identified as “persistently struggling” and 2 years with the remaining 20 to demonstrate progress. During this period, the Superintendent has been named the Receiver for these schools. In this role, he has broad powers to institute changes, including staff, curricula and schedule. However, if NYSED determines that the changes are not significant than the Commissioner will appoint an outside receiver to run these schools. The Receivership Law gives the Superintendent the discretion to make decisions about these schools without the approval of the Board. And while some individuals believe that the Superintendent will use this power to totally circumvent the Board, I don’t believe that it would be prudent or in the best interests of these schools for him to act as a solo entity. However, this is a discussion that must take place so all parties are clear on the future direction regarding these 25 schools. The Board has the responsibility to ensure there is clarity.”

New Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has promised to crackdown on the Buffalo schools. This will be a test case of her skills and leadership.

Does anyone believe that “persistently struggling” schools can be turned around in one year? Common sense suggests that genuine change would require additional staff and resources, intensive tutoring, wraparound services, and other investments. Or a school could kick out the lowest scoring kids and claim a pretend victory.

State Superintendent MaryEllen Elia said Néw York would stick with Common Core, no matter that public opinion does not support it.

A Siena College poll found that 64% of Néw York voters either oppose Common Core or thinks it has made no difference.

She also said, ““The United States used to lead the world educationally, but we’ve fallen to the middle of the pack. Our students are lagging behind, and the global economy is growing more competitive every day.”

Actually, that’s not true. The U.S. never led the world on test scores. When the first international tests were given in the 1960s, the U.S. students came in last. Yet over the next 50 years, our nation surpassed the other 11 nations that took the same test by every measure: economic productivity, technological innovation, military might, creativity, and democratic institutions. The test scores of 15-year-olds do not predict our future. The policies of our government, the decisions of corporations to outsource jobs, our treatment of our children and communities matter more.

When I met Commissioner Ekia, I have her a copy of “Reign of Error,” which explains this in greater detail. Obviously she hasn’t had time to read it.

Given the debacle of the Gates teacher evaluation in Hillsborough County, where Elia was superintendent until January, she should rethink her views.

The latest Siena poll reports that most Néw Yorkers like the idea of a $15 per hour minimum wage. But not many like Common Core.

“The Siena poll shows that 40 percent of voters say the implementation of Common Core worsened public education, and 24 percent said the implementation had no meaningful effect. Only 19 percent said the implementation improved education.
A plurality of voters (38 percent) also called the standards too demanding. Twenty percent said they aren’t good enough, and 23 percent said they’re just right.

“The regional divide here isn’t much of a surprise either: Those in the suburbs and upstate are more critical of the standards in this poll than those in New York City are. Recall that the highest percentages of state test opt-outs in April were from outside the five boroughs.”

Fred LeBrun of the Albany Times-Union says the battle over Cuomo’s teacher evaluation plan is not over yet. What the Regents adopted last week was an extension of emergency regulations, and there is still a 30-day period of public comment. In fact, they can’t be made final until the November meeting. In the meanwhile, parents and educators can keep up the pressure and keep planning for the biggest opt out in American history next spring. Suppose they give a test and no one takes it?

LeBrun writes:

There was a simple if potent resolution on the agenda of the state Board of Regents meeting last week calling for final passage of the onerous new teacher evaluation system Gov. Cuomo rammed through the Legislature earlier in the year. 

A vote was taken of the 16 Regents, and it was widely reported in the media that they had done their duty and given, if reluctantly and after much debate, final approval as the law required them to do by a vote of 10 to 6.

In fact, that wasn’t the case at all. They did their duty alright, but it wasn’t to give final approval.

What the Regents voted to do instead was quite clever, a lovely little avoidance procedure.

They proposed three new amendments to the emergency regulations they had passed back in June drafted by the state Education Department as dictated by the law. These new amendments of themselves offer some small relief for teachers and schools — a brighter shade of lipstick — but their real value is elsewhere.

What the Regents actually approved was an extension of the emergency regulations triggered by the proposed new amendments, that restarts a 30-day public comment period. Emergency regs have a shelf life of 90 days.

Because the comment period would extend beyond the date for the next monthly Regents meeting, a vote isn’t possible on the new emergency regs to make them final until the November meeting.

So what, you ask? Well this: what the Regents managed to do is find just enough wiggle room in a tightly scripted law to kick the can down the road and basically approve nothing at all. At least, not yet.

Nothing stops them during the November meeting from introducing another amendment or two, and resetting the clock again.

Before you know it, the Legislature is back in session where the real relief must come, as the Regents, parents and educators know full well.

The only permanent fix for a bad law is to change it.

The 10-6 vote, incidentally, reflects just how frustrated the Regents are, and perhaps reflects as well as the internal split on just how radical a change is needed to the law. Six refused to endorse a bad law even by extending emergency regulations.

The majority subscribed to the view that lousy law though it is, there was a risk to federal aid and a vulnerability to litigation by failing to approve interim regs. So Cuomo’s signature teacher evaluation law remains in limbo and still fluid.

All this buys time for those who seek major revisions in the teacher evaluation law, and joined at the hip, the state’s reliance on high stakes standardized tests.

High among those eager for change are the Regents themselves, who are becoming strident about reasserting their legal role as the proper policy makers for education in the state. A role that has been usurped by the governor.

The Regents have certainly gotten an earful from educators in the field and get it that the system is beyond broken; it’s in shambles. It needs a complete overhaul and not just cosmetic change.

The blog is fortunate to have its own poet, who goes by the nom de plume of “Some DamPoet.” He/she frequently regales us with witty poems to fit the moment. This one is fashioned after Alfred Noyes'”The Highwayman.”

“The Mywayman” (after “The Highwayman”, by Alfred Noyes)


THE VAM was a torrent of darkness among reformy goals
The school was a ghostly galleon tossed upon rocky shoals
The Test was a ribbon of Pearson tying the Common Core,
And the Mywayman came riding—
The Mywayman came riding, up to the school-house door.

He’d a half-cocked plan in his forehead, a shill of Gates for his spin,
A coat of the cleanest whitewash, and breeches of law within;
Though served with a Lederman wrinkle (the suits were up to his thigh!)
He rode with a jeweled twinkle,
His ed-u-bots a-twinkle,
His Tests and VAMs a twinkle, under the New York sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark school-yard,
And he tapped with his Test on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the Test Lord’s VAM-eyed Super,
Elia, the New York Super
Planting a bright red “Opt Not!!” inside the “Opt out” lair.

And dark in the dark old school-yard a rusty swing-set creaked
Where Diane the Blogger listened; her curiosity piqued;
Her eyes were filled with sadness, her worry was plain as day,
For she loved the public schoolhouse,
The American public schoolhouse
Alert as can be she listened, and she heard the Gov’nor say—

“Hear this, my well-paid Super, I’m after a prize to-night,
And I shall make Opt-out parents fold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though parents should bar the way.”

He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could hide his rage ,
He tried to mask what the case meant, but face read like a page
As the franks and beans from the dinner were mingling with his bile
He cursed its taste in the moonlight,
(Oh, putrid taste in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his reign in the moonlight, and galloped away to Long Isle.


He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
And out o’ the tawny sunset, before the rise o’ the moon,
When the Test was a Mobius ribbon, looping the Coleman lore,
An Opt-out troop came marching—
The parents all came marching, up to the Governor’s door.

They said no word to the Test Lord, they mocked the test instead,
And they nagged the Super and grilled her about everything she’d said;
All of them knew what the case meant, with Lederman at their side!
There were parents at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
Elia could see, through the window, the road that he would ride.

They had tried to get her attention, ‘bout many an invalid test;
They had written a letter to meet her, to discuss the VAMs and the rest!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they dissed her.
She heard the Governor say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though parents should bar the way!

She twisted her claims for the parents; but all their Not!s held good!
She waved her hands at the figures, she said were “misunderstood!”
She stretched and strained credulity, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The statute at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it; she strove no more for the Test!
Up, she stood up to attention, with the statute above the rest ,
She would not risk a hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins in the moonlight throbbed to the Gov’s refrain .

The quote of laws! Had he heard it? Her quote of NY laws?;
Her quote of laws — from the distance? The “Rights of Parents” clause?
Down the ribbon of Mobius, over the brow with his bill,
The Mywayman came riding,
Riding, riding!
The parents looked to their stymying! She stood up, straight and still!

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; her heart, it missed a beat
Then her fingers moved in the moonlight,
Her pen-stroke shattered the moonlight,
Shattered the tests in the moonlight, sealing the Gov’s defeat

He turned; he spurred to the West; he did not know who blinked
Bowed, with her head o’er edict, drenched with her own ink!
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Elia, the New York Super,
The Test Lord’s well-paid Super,
Had watched for the Gov in the moonlight, determined his future there

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With Elia caving behind him and his testing vanquished nigh!
Wide-read- were his slurs on the Twitter; wide-spread was the parents’ vote,
When they opted out on the test day,
In droves and droves on the test day,
And he lay in the flood on the test day, with a bunch of ‘rents at his throat

And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the VAMmers roam like trolls
When the school is a ghostly galleon tossed upon rocky shoals,
When the Test is a ribbon of Pearson tying the Common Core,
A Mywayman comes riding—
A Mywayman comes riding, up to the school-house door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark school-yard,
And he taps with his Test on the shutters, but all is locked and barred;
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the Test Lord’s VAM-eyed Super,
Elia, the New York Super
Planting a bright red “Opt Not!!” inside the “Opt out” lair.

The Hudson Valley Alliance for Public Education issued a statement pledging to increase the number if opt outs next spring, in response to the Board of Regents’ decision to endorse a punitive, test-based teacher evaluation system. In the new system, test scores will count for 50% of a teacher’s evaluation, despite the American Statistical Association’s warning that a teacher accounts for 1-14% of variation in test scores.

Supporters of VAM think that the teachers’ union is pulling the strings and persuading parents to express such views. They think parents are dupes and fools. They are wrong.

Parents understand that when test scores matter so much, teachers will spend more time on test prep and less time on untested subjects. This is educationally unsound, and it hurts their children.

The parents support opt out to protect their children.

Here is the statement of the Hudson Valley Alliance:

“Parents across the Hudson Valley are dismayed by yesterday’s vote by the Board of Regents to adopt teacher evaluation regulations that will double down on high stakes testing and the harmful effects of test-prep driven education. While we applaud the courage of those Regents who voted no, Hudson Valley parents are disappointed with Regent Finn’s failure to protect public school children in our area.

“Under Chancellor Tisch’s leadership, the Regents majority have failed to challenge flawed legislation that harms public school children” said Carol Newman Sharkey, Orange County public school parent. “It is clear that Chancellor Tisch must be removed from her position when her term is up this year.”

“The Regents failed to rise up against the Governor’s tyrannical demands and instead have allowed bad education policies to displace whole child and sound pedagogical practices. They have stood idly by while Cuomo makes a mockery out of public schools putting cronies, political ambition, and charter schools above children” said Tory Lowe, co-founder of Kingston Action for Education and Ulster County public school parent.

“This vote ensures that the opt out movement will continue to grow. Parents seeking to protect their children will not back down or be appeased by false promises of better tests. At the end of the day, you cannot measure teaching and learning with a test score. Until there is real change, parents will continue to reject a corrupt system that destroys authentic teaching and learning” said, Bianca Tanis, New Paltz public school parent.

Since the adoption of the Common Core-aligned assessments, the Regents have voted to limit the number of students entitled to extra support in the form of Academic Intervention Services while simultaneously labeling teachers and students as failures.

“Once again, NYSED seems to talk out of both sides of its mouth. The message that SED continues to spread is that almost 70% of the students in grades 3-8 aren’t “proficient”, but yet schools don’t have to provide AIS (i.e. – “flexibility”) if their level of failure isn’t low enough. Either our children who are scoring ‘1s and 2s’ on the state tests are struggling and they deserve to get the academic support to help them meet the standards, or the standards themselves are inappropriate. They cannot have it both ways” said Tim Farley, Columbia County public school parent.

Stacey Kahn, Ulster County public school parent said “We suggest that Chancellor Tisch and Commissioner stop insulting the intelligence of the public. We will refuse the tests until the Regents majority starts making decisions that put children before politics and corporate sponsors.”

“What took place at the Regents meeting only underscores what parents and educators have known for quite some time – Chancellor Tisch must go. It is critical that parents, educators, and concerned community members turn their eyes towards our state legislators who have the power to amend destructive education law and remove Chancellor Tisch and some of her colleagues as they seek reappointment in the new year. New York students deserve responsible and informed leadership that will ensure an equitable, community-driven, and child-centered education. We will accept nothing less” said Anna Shah, Dutchess County public school parent.

“The 10 NYS Board of Regents members who lacked the courage to vote against Governor Cuomo’s public school privatization agenda have now emboldened parents towards increased activism. Through the use of social media, traditional media and speakers forums parents will continue to inform and educate. They will forge ahead against these harmful policies using their best weapons…involvement in the political process (our eyes will on our legislators) and of course the 500,000 test refusals for Spring 2016,” said Lauren Isaacs Schimko, public school parent, Rockland County educator & Administrator of “Pencils DOWN Rockland County” on Facebook.

HV Alliance for Public education, is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating for the rights of parents and public school children against harmful testing practices in the Hudson Valley. To join the Alliance or to learn more, please visit us here:

A comment on the blog:

I am a parent of a student at one of the state’s 20 “persistently struggling schools” LeBrun mentions in the article. We learned at a meeting earlier this week that because the school has met the state’s goals on many of the metrics used to evaluate these schools entering the receivership game, the school cannot choose those metrics to be evaluated on at the end of the year. Almost all of the metrics that are left to be chosen to be evaluated on are related to the state testing. It is all a game of trying to figure out which population subgroups will be most likely to meet the metrics when the tests are given months from now And you just keep your fingers crossed that you pick the right subgroups. (This is helping the kids how?)

It also appears that the school population as a whole has to have 95% participation in state testing to meet metrics. Is there any district in the state that did that last year? I think our school was about 80% participation last year. This is something that the school has very little control over. (To the administration’s credit, they do not strong arm families to take the test.) How can a school be evaluated on this?

Ideas of what we can do about this? The school’s plan is due Sept 30, so there’s not much we can do to change the procedure prior to plan submission. (We received the metrics from SED earlier this week, so there wasn’t much lead time.) How can we fight this even after our plan is submitted?

I am quite scared about what might happen to the school next year. No one seems to know what the possibilities even are or what rights the school and the parents have.

Fred LeBrun is rapidly emerging as the most astute education writer in New York State. He writes for the Albany Times-Union so there is a good chance that the Governor’s staff and the legislative staff read what he writes. I hope so.

In this article, he skewers Cuomo’s plan to put struggling schools into “receivership.” That’ll fix them. Millions will be burned while the state ignores the root causes of low-performance in school: poverty. It seems that all the schools on the Governor’s list are in poor communities. Black and brown children will be Cuomo’s playthings, as teachers and principals and other staff are fired and new ones brought in, who will also be fired.

It is painful to read. You know that millions of dollars will be spent on consultants, and by the time the money is all gone, there will be more schools to hand over to Cuomo’s hedge fund buddies to turn into low-performing charters.

LeBrun writes:

While New York public education struggles to resolve an idiotic dependence on standardized tests, waiting in the wings is another poorly-thought-out plan threatening more harm than benefit: school receivership.

So far you haven’t heard a great deal about it because the dramatic consequences are a year off, but you will. And, unlike the statewide disgust over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s testing obsession that affects every school district and has gotten a lot of press, the threat of receivership at the moment hangs over only 144 “struggling” schools — not districts — all of them among the state’s poorest. Of these, 20 are labeled by the state Education Department as “persistently struggling” because of the length of time they’ve been “struggling” and need to turn themselves around in just a year, or else. The rest have two years.

In the Capital Region, only Albany’s William S. Hackett Middle School is on the persistent list, but if a handful of schools in Albany, Troy, Schenectady and Amsterdam, including Albany High School, don’t show appropriate progress, they will join Hackett next year.

What happens now for schools like Hackett is as complicated as directions to Atlantis, and about as reliable.

Albany school Superintendent Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard becomes the acting school receiver, with broad powers, for the next year. A required community engagement team composed of the principal, staff, teachers, parents and even students from Hackett will forward recommendations for improvements to the superintendent, who will use them to help create her intervention plan to turn the school around. The plan is due at State Ed for approval by the end of this month. Over the next year, the community team will look over her shoulder as the intervention plan unfolds.

In the meantime, the school receiver can do pretty much what she wants (with approval from State Ed): change the curriculum, replace teachers and administrators, increase salaries, reallocate the budget, expand the school day or year, turn Hackett into a community school, even convert to a charter school. Although there’s enormous rigmarole attached to much of it, including going charter. Remember, the receiver in this case remains the superintendent for the rest of the district, so she is answerable for any wild and crazy ideas to the voters through the school board.

Anyway, to help start the process, Vanden Wyngaard can apply for a grant from a $75 million pot set up by the state, although she’ll have plenty of competition from other “persistently struggling” school receivers in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Yonkers, New York City and elsewhere. She has a year to do her turnaround. Or the hammer falls and we are off to Neverland.

Then the state would appoint an independent receiver who is answerable only to State Ed. At which time the process of community involvement, an intervention plan, and the rest are repeated, only now change is apt to be far more radical, with wholesale staff firings. An independent receiver can be a person from an approved list that doesn’t yet exist, or an institution or charter school. Although charter schools upstate have been mostly a bust, as Albany well knows. Middle school charters in Albany could not save themselves, let alone others.

So. If you’re getting the idea that this receivership idea seems like a plan designed to fail and thus prepare the way for school privatizers to make a bundle, move over.

For one thing, the state has yet to give school receivers a clear idea of what would constitute appropriate progress to avoid an independent receiver. Presumably, we’ll know by the end of the month when intervention plans have to be approved. What is expected and how reasonable it is will answer a great deal.

Because just a year to show any marked improvement on any front for a school like Hackett, no matter how thoughtfully considered, broadly accepted by the community, or earnestly pursued, is absurd. Real change needs time for all stakeholders to become invested. Teachers at Hackett today are still complaining that attendance and discipline as major problems, just as it was when I substituted there, oh, a half century ago. These are, after all, manifestations of the poverty and despair underlying most of Hackett’s problems; they don’t go away. They are the community’s problems, not just Hackett’s.

And for any turnaround plan to stand a chance of success, it will need tons of money and sustained financing for years. Curiously, while the law creating school receiverships is rich in the detail of who can be fired and not rehired, on punitive measures, and what extraordinary powers a receiver may exercise, it does not specify who will pay for an independent receiver.

Keeping in mind, always, that the state has an abysmal record in meeting its education commitments. At the moment, the state owes New York City more than $2 billion in aid; Albany more than $37 million; Schenectady nearly $60 million.

So there you have it. A boondoggle in the making. Cuomo forced us to accept a mandate of an independent receiver for certain schools labeled struggling by his cohorts at State Ed, but so far there isn’t a hint of state money to pay for it. Can you imagine what that burden will do for school budgets like Albany’s?

Oh, and it gets better. Amusingly, the concept of “struggling” public schools is defined by the educational establishment as the bottom 5 percent of all state schools based on a host of criteria. Which means no matter how much struggling schools improve, there will always be 5 percent at the bottom who potentially need a receiver.

What a surprise. • 518-454-5453


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