Tag Archives: Governor Andrew Cuomo

Democratic primary for New York State Governor and Lieutenant Governor tomorrow – Tuesday September 9, 2014

If you are a registered Democrat, please take advantage of your right to make your voice heard and vote in the Democratic primary tomorrow Tuesday September 9, 2014.

Three Democratic candidates for governor will appear on the ballot:  Andrew Cuomo, Zephyr Teachout and Randy Credico.

Two candidates for lieutenant governor will be on the ballot:  Kathy Hochul and Tim Wu.

Andrew Cumo and Kathy Hochul are running mates as are Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu.  However in New York you vote individually for governor and lieutenant governor so make sure you select the ones you wish and don’t mix up the pairs unless you intend to do so.

If education, and Common Core in particular, is a big concern for you this election cycle, you will probably want to know that Governor Cuomo supports Common Core and Zephyr Teachout is against Common Core.

You can find links to the educational platforms of the candidates in my blog post here.  New York Allies for Public Education has a scorecard comparing the candidates on a variety of educational issues as well as a press release talking about Governor Cuomo’s educational stance.  Governor Cuomo has refused to debate Zephyr Teachout but she and Rob Astorino, Republican candidate for governor, debated last week so you can get a feel for her stand on a variety of issues in addition to education.  I have a blog post about the debate here.

Don’t forget to vote!

Governor’s Debate: Teachout Vs. Astorino

Governor Cuomo won’t debate Zephyr Teachout before the Democratic primary next Tuesday September 9, 2014 (Democrats – don’t forget to vote!) so Rob Astorino and Zephyr Teachout arranged to debate each other to get their thoughts out and open up some discussion on important issues.

Talk show host Brian Lehrer made an interesting comment at the beginning of this program about Governor Cuomo trying to stifle discussion on important issues by refusing to debate. Mr. Lehrer said “my job is to make sure important issues get discussed during election session… If the governor is lying low and refusing to debate in order to minimize discussion as a political strategy, … then I am all for it” (having a debate in another way). I am so glad that Mr. Lehrer and the WNYC 93.9 radio station are willing to help prevent that stifling of discussion from happening!

GOP Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino (L) and Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout debate in the WNYC studios. (Jody Avirgan/WNYC)
GOP Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino (L) and Democratic challenger Zephyr Teachout debate in the WNYC studios. (Jody Avirgan/WNYC)

Listen to the debate here.

The Common Core discussion/education policy begins at approximately the 15 min mark.


Educational platforms of New York State gubernatorial candidates

Kids go back to school in Kingston tomorrow and education is on the minds of our politicians (or should be).

New York Allies for Public Education has just released a scorecard with information on where the candidates for New York State Governor stand on various educational issues – click here to view the scorecard. Governor Cuomo doesn’t fare so well unfortunately.  Check the scorecard to see where all five of the gubernatorial candidates (Governor Cuomo, Rob Astorino, Zephyr Teachout, Howie Hawkins and Randy Credico) stand on the Common Core Standards, teacher tenure, APPR, standardized testing, educational spending and charter schools.

Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has just released his educational platform and you can view it here.

Zephyr Teachout is looking to get on the ballot by winning the Democratic primary on September 9, 2014.  Her educational platform has been available for quite some time on her website – click here to view her platform.

I have not been personally following the campaigns of Howie Hawkins (Green party gubernatorial candidate) or Randy Credico (also looking to win Democratic primary) but their campaign platforms are available at the following links:  Howie Hawkins platform and Randy Credico platform.  I did not find education specifically mentioned on Randy Credico’s campaign website.

Remember that you have the opportunity to make YOUR voice heard regarding education in the upcoming elections.  If you are a registered Democrat, you can make your voice be heard in the Democratic primary on Tuesday September 9, 2014.  ALL registered voters can speak loud and strong by casting your vote at the polls in the general election on Tuesday November 4, 2014.

Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 – Referendum that will be on the November 4, 2014 ballot

Here is information from a parent in Ballston Spa who has done a lot of research into the “Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014″ which will be on the November 4 ballot as a referendum due to Governor Cuomo’s 2014 budget.

Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 – Nov 4th Bond Referendum

In relation to the Ballston Journals article on the BSCSD Board reshuffles leadership, the bigger question lies within the statements from Jeanne Obermayer on UPK (Universal Pre-Kindergarten). The UPK is a bit of concern for me. We already have Head-Start for disadvantaged pre-k children housed in our school district. So why the need for UPK??? This may very well be connected to the NEWEST CC program to be rolled out PK-12 and is most likely connected to the “Smart Schools Bond Act 2014.” that will be on the November election Ballot.


This 2 BILLION $$ bond act will be required to be used for technology needed for PARCC and also expanding pre-k, in this case “UNIVERSAL.” Another RED HERRING…. once the $$ is used up, it then becomes another unfunded mandate to local tax payers to cover the continual financial costs of the programs.


If Cuomo initiated it, it’s connected to the expansion of CC. Just think about it. We’ll still have to replace and cover costs of aging technology, costs related to anything connected within 3-5 years as another tax burden, LONG BEFORE the NYS citizens and taxpayers pay back the bond over the next few decades.
It’s the BIG BOONDOGGLE!! 1 Billion $$ ifiasco in LA


“E.J. McMahon, President of the Empire Center, argued that the bond would pay for technology that will be “outdated and useless” before the state’s bonded indebtedness is even paid off.”

Astorino and Teachout hold joint press conference

Strange things happen when Governor Cuomo makes things bad enough. I say ‘Hooray’ to Rob Astorino and Zephyr Teachout!

Astorino and Teachout hold joint press conference on corruption

And just in case you are not familiar with who Rob Astorino and Zephyr Teachout are – Rob Astorino is the Republican candidate running for governor and Zephyr Teachout has gathered enough signatures for a Democratic primary to be held between her and Andrew Cuomo in September.  Their press conference was not education-related but both candidates are opposed to Common Core!

I am still working on collecting signatures for the StopCommonCore line on the November ballot.  Contact me if you would like to help collect signatures or just put your John Hancock on my petition.

Zephyr Teachout – Democratic Primary petitions

I am committed to doing whatever I can to bring about change in Albany in November (as long as it is legal and ethical) and I would very much like to see a Democratic Primary between Zephyr Teachout and Andrew Cuomo take place.

If you are a registered Democrat who is concerned about Common Core and how it is affecting the children of New York, please participate in collecting petitions so that Zephyr can participate in the primary. The Primary Petitions must be returned by July 5, 2014.

If we want to expand the conversation on education, by putting up a challenge to Cuomo, there is nothing more helpful than Zephyr’s decision to run. A signature for Zehpyr Teachout to primary doesn’t mean that you will vote for her, just that you want to see the conversation about what is possible take place in the political domain. In order to collect signatures you must be a registered Democrat and you should witness signatures of only registered Democrats. All of the forms are available on her site here .

I am dreaming of an election in November where the children do not have to be a factor in the election because Common Core is not at stake (both Zephyr and Rob Astorino seem to be opposed to Common Core and are promising to get rid of it if elected). Then the election could be focused on other issues important to the voters in New York not how can we protect our children! Check out Zephyr’s stand on a variety of issues here and Rob’s here .

PJSTA Approves Resolution to Oppose Common Core

How exciting that the Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association felt able to take the bold step to approve a resolution opposing the Common Core State Standards.

WHEREAS, the purpose of education is to educate a populace of critical thinkers who are capable of shaping a just and equitable society in order to lead good and purpose-filled lives, not solely preparation for college and career; and

WHEREAS, instructional and curricular decisions should be in the hands of classroom professionals who understand the context and interests of their students; and

WHEREAS, the education of children should be grounded in developmentally appropriate practice; and

WHEREAS, high quality education requires adequate resources to provide a rich and varied course of instruction, individual and small group attention, and wrap-around services for students; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards were developed by non-practitioners, such as test and curriculum publishers, as well as education reform foundations, such as the Gates and Broad Foundations, and as a result the CCSS better reflect the interests and priorities of corporate education reformers than the best interests and priorities of teachers and students; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards were piloted incorrectly, have been implemented too quickly, and as a result have produced numerous developmentally inappropriate expectations that do not reflect the learning needs of many students; and

WHEREAS, imposition of the Common Core State Standards adversely impacts students of highest need, including students of color, impoverished students, English language learners, and students with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the Common Core State Standards emphasize pedagogical techniques, such as close reading, out of proportion to the actual value of these methods – and as a result distort instruction and remove instructional materials from their social context; and

WHEREAS, despite the efforts of our union to provide support to teachers, the significant time, effort, and expense associated with modifying curricula to the Common Core State Standards interferes and takes resources away from work developing appropriate and engaging courses of study; and

WHEREAS, the assessments that accompany the Common Core State Standards (PARCC and Smarter Balance) are not transparent in that – teachers and parents are not allowed to view the tests and item analysis will likely not be made available given the nature of computer adaptive tests; and

WHEREAS, Common Core assessments disrupt student learning, consuming tremendous amounts of time and resources for test preparation and administration; and

WHEREAS, the assessment practices that accompany Common Core State Standards – including the political manipulation of test scores – are used as justification to label and close schools, fail students, and evaluate educators; therefore be it

RESOLVED that the PJSTA opposes the Common Core State Standards (and the aligned tests) as a framework for teaching and learning;

Read the full resolution here directly from their website.

Governor Cuomo says Common Core testing is unfair

Have you seen Governor Cuomo’s commercial where he says that testing on the Common Core is ‘premature’, ‘creates anxiety’ and ‘unfair’?  I don’t watch much television so haven’t seen it on TV but here is the commercial on the internet.

According to this Newsday article, the commercial began airing on March 2, 2014 and was paid for by Cuomo’s re-election campaign.  While Governor Cuomo admitted the tests are not good for the children, he made no acknowledgment of the fact that the teachers should not be rated on “premature”, “anxiety-creating” and “unfair” tests as part of his commercial.  Governor Cuomo was the person who pushed through the entire APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) system which tied the teacher rating system to the state standardized tests.  This April 1 article was the first hint that Governor Cuomo is starting to finally realize that the state standardized tests might also not be the best way to rate the teachers:

“If you said Common Core testing was premature for the students, and you just halted the grades on the transcripts, then what is your opinion about the impact of Common Core testing on teacher evaluations, and what should be done?” he continued.  “That is an issue that we have not addressed and that we need to address before the end of session, in my opinion, depending on what happens.” – Capital New York April 1, 2014

You might have heard that provisions were made in the New York State budget bill that are significantly helping our students in the area of high-stakes testing.  However these ‘signature reforms’ don’t actually pan out when examined closely as explained in this article.  The changes to keep state tests scores off report cards, limit the amount of testing and not allow testing to be used for promotion are inconsequential for Kingston students.  For Kingston students, state test scores have never appeared on report cards, they have never been a factor in grade promotion, and kindergarten through second grade students have never had to take the state standardized tests.  There are lots of problems with the state tests but not those particular items.  Our students are still taking, in the words of Governor Cuomo, “premature”, “anxiety-creating” and “unfair” tests unless parents choose to refuse the state tests!

Governor Cuomo has reaffirmed my belief that my student should REFUSE the state tests.  Here are some of my reasons for our refusal of the New York State ELA and Math tests.

Green Laces

Here is information on how to refuse the upcoming state math test for your student if you agree with Governor Cuomo.


Fix New York Schools – Slam the Brakes on Common Core!

I am very concerned about the Common Core Agenda and the impact it is having on schools throughout New York State and right here in the Kingston City School District.  If you are also concerned, please sign the petition below to tell Governor Cuomo that we want to slam the brakes on Common Core, that the state is hurting our children, and that we expect the Governor to act!

Fix New York Schools petition

As part of the petition you will find links to legislation that has been introduced by Assemblymen Ra and Graf (bill A8844) and Senators Ball and Zeldin (bill S6604) to stop Common Core and then give New York three years to fix it or scrap it (my personal vote but more on that another day).

The legislation … would impose a three-year moratorium on the standards. It would also create a committee with all relevant stakeholders, who would study the issue and then come up with recommendations: Either ditch Common Core entirely, or create new state standards that would conform to the national scheme pushed by Washington. “For now, it stops the abuse of our children,” explained [Graf].

New York Revolts Against Common Core

Read further details about the 11 state-wide forums leading to this legislation and the feedback received by the legislators at those forums regarding the Common Core Agenda here