Indefensible Common Core: Cuomo’s Former Staffer Gets it All Wrong

cuomo

Here is the op ed I wrote and submitted to Lo Hud in response to former Deputy Education Ian Rosenblum’s op ed dated August 18, 2014. I dont think they’ll print it because I live outside of the print area, unfortunately. If so, I will post it as a comment. If you have not already done so, please take a moment to read Ian Rosenblum’s op ed and comment to set him straight. 

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Ian Rosenblum’s “In defense of Common Core: Bipartisan opposition gets it wrong” dated August 18, 2014 boasts of misplaced confidence in both Governor Cuomo and Common Core.

In November 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Ian Rosenblum as deputy secretary for education. The position has had a very high turn over rate. Other deputy secretary for education staffers employed by Cuomo during his term in office include: David Wakelyn from Sept. 2011 to April 2012 with a 6 month vacancy following that, De’Shawn Wright from Oct. 2012 to Nov. 2013 and Ian Rosenblum from Nov. 2013 to July 2014. This revolving door policy speaks volumes.

The Governor touts the passage of four on time budgets in a row and claims he closed the budget gap. The Governor siphoned billions of dollars from education to support those claims. This has resulted in increased class sizes, loss of essential programs such as art and music, narrowing of the curriculum and a lack of essential school resources needed to function. Students are being deprived of their constitutionally protected right to obtain a sound basic education.

Under Cuomo, years of state aid cuts, the enactment of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) and frozen Foundation Aid have resulted in fiscal stress with many districts facing educational insolvency. According to SAANYS, more than 30,000 educators have been laid-off over the past five years and the governor’s originally proposed state aid increase of 3.8 percent ($807 million) would have resulted in more cuts of personnel
and programs.

According to Education Conference Board, a minimum of $1.5 billion is needed to maintain the status quo. There is no indication that Governor Cuomo intends to commit any of NYS windfall money to education even though schools desperately need it.

From the left, education historian Diane Ravitch has put the call out for a congressional investigation of the ties between the Gates Foundation and the US Education Department, and of the role of both in imposing Common Core on the states. From the right, Stanley Kurtz of the EPCC agrees that a congressional investigation is now in order. He further posits that Congress is obliged to investigate.

Common Core wasn’t “state led,” it was “Gates led.” Advocating for what is in the best interest of children explains why the left and right have put aside their differences to unite on the issue of Common Core.

Lobby groups like High Achieve NY and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce advance the Common despite the fact that the standards have never been piloted, tested or studied by independent evaluators with experience in education.

What is noticeably absent from CCSS is educator input. The CCSS fail miserably to take into consideration early child development and the needs and best interests of students instead relying on conclusory and hyped propaganda and prose.

NYSED recently released the test scores of the state exams in 3-8th grades. The overall results were disappointing. The scores were largely flat with little to no change year over year with only small gains and drops for specific demographic groups.

Considering the more than $28 million taxpayer investment in Common Core curriculum modules, the nominal increase in scores provides ample argument against the Common Core tests. Contrary to Rosenblum’s claim, college readiness proficiency scores have no connection with reality.

Governor Cuomo is presently under investigation by USDNY Preet Bharara for corruption. Rosenblum neglects to mention this important fact in his op ed.

In not one but 3 failed attempts to block a Democratic Primary, Governor Cuomo filed challenges to disqualify gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout from the ballot. Cuomo’s petitions and appeal were dismissed. In cowardly fashion, Governor Cuomo refuses to debate Teachout on the merits.

Rosenblum criticizes gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino. But, what has not been said is that Mr. Astorino’s Stop Common Core ballot initiative garnered over 100, 000 signatures in support in less than 2 months.

Mr. Rosenblum’s overwhelmingly supportive op ed stands in stark contrast to the fact that he has been noticeably absent from public and media interaction on Common Core, until now. Readers have good reason to question Rosenblum’s motives for writing the op ed at the outset.

Concededly, Cuomo may have a few businesses in his back pocket but, parents, educators and taxpayers will not support Andrew Cuomo this November, rest assured.

Just remember what “CUOMO” stands for:

C orrupt politician
U undermined public trust and sold out education
O bsequious to corp interests
M aster of Morelandgate
O utraged NYers want Cuomo out!

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