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Gov. Cuomo slams Board of Regents on WCNY’s ‘The Capitol Pressroom’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo slammed the Regents’ teacher evaluation recommendation during an interview on an edition of WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom focused on Common Core and education reform in the Empire State.

“Enough is enough,” Gov. Cuomo told host Susan Arbetter. “Government is supposed to perform. Education is one of the primary duties. Effort is nice, trying is nice: results are better. And we haven’t had results for the people of the state, especially on this teacher evaluation system.”

Cuomo’s comments to Arbetter challenged the Board of Regents leadership. The governor said the Regents bear responsibility for the slow implementation of the teacher evaluation system.

“Every year there is another excuse and another problem. This year there is another problem: Common Core. ‘Because the Common Core is a problem, we can’t do teacher evaluations or there is a two year affirmative defense.’”

Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and New York State Education Commissioner Dr. John King, Jr. also answered Arbetter’s questions on Common Core later in the program. Tisch tread lightly between the positions taken by the governor and the teachers union.

But Chancellor Tisch told Arbetter she hopes to convince Cuomo that the Regents and education department are not backing away from evaluations but trying to help them take hold.

“I took the Governor’s remarks to say that he doesn’t want to see this get any weaker, and he doesn’t want to see evaluation go away. I am really kind of heartened by his efforts here.”

Tisch sees herself as a pragmatist and believes the working relationship between the governor and the department is not in peril because both believe in the evaluations and the Common Core Standards.

Commissioner King addressed New York State’s United Teachers desires to eliminate the link between the Common Core and teacher evaluations. NYSUT wants a two-year moratorium on the Common Core standards.

“NYSUT has expressed concerns that a teacher would be unfairly penalized because his or her district had not moved forward effectively in providing support around the Common Core. And we’ve rectified that,” King said.

The Board of Regents was to approve a recommendation Tuesday to ensure that no teacher is unfairly removed.

“But to the extent that [NYSUT wants] to undo the evaluation system and go back on the agreement we made back in 2010 and again in 2012, we’re not prepared to do that,” King said. “We think the evaluation system is the right direction.”

Listen to The Capitol Pressroom interview with Governor Cuomo, Chancellor Tisch and Commissioner King.

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