A Template for Cuomo

Dear Governor Cuomo,

From the perspective of someone who hasn’t had the benefit of position, privilege, private jets to campaign war-chest fundraisers, or input from charter school lobbyists:

1) Holding schools and their funding hostage to your unreasonable demands is not in the spirit of the collaboration that your own ed reform commission called for.

2) Being a “lobbyist for the students” is not exemplified by attacking their teachers first. It would be exemplified by supporting equity in funding and opportunity for all students.

3) An abrupt reversal in your campaign season concern over the flawed implementation of new common core standards and the high-stakes tests that came with them, to suddenly insisting that they are worthy of coin-flip power over an educator’s career is beyond foolish.

4) Your praise of kitchen tables and parents as the most important tools a student can have is not matched by a willingness to admit that many, many teachers are the surrogate kitchen tables and parents for a growing number of students.

It’s understandable that the reluctance of the Working Families Party to endorse you, and the virtual silence of teachers unions might make you angry. Since you put a capital “D” after your name on the ballot-you’d think those endorsements would be a given. Also, the isolated pockets you managed to amass votes in and win with, while losing the vote in a stunning  majority of the state area-wise…well, that can sting.

But this is about kids. Not just the few that will be admitted to and allowed to stay in charters-but also about those who depend on equitable funding and opportunities to achieve-not just words in regulations, but real economic, educational, and employment opportunities. So lobbying for students starts in the home and involves community schools and educators. Dedicated, trained, professional educators who serve all students. Not just those lucky enough to still have parents and kitchen tables. You should join the team.



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