ALBANY, N.Y. December 18, 2014 - New York State United Teachers today slammed as "clueless" a letter sent by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office to the Regents and State Education Department, saying the questions and tone signal "ignorance about what parents want and the real issues facing public education."
"The governor says he wants to put students first. If that were even remotely true, he would listen carefully and act on the advice of the real experts - parents, educators and students - about what's best for public education," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "Instead, New Yorkers get clueless, incendiary questions that do the bidding of New York City hedge fund billionaires who have letterhead and campaign donations, but know absolutely nothing about how public education works. If the governor wants a battle, he can take the clueless New York City billionaires. We'll take the parents, teachers, higher education faculty and students in every ZIP code of the state."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta challenged the governor's assertions that he knows - from the campaign - what parents want.
"The governor barely campaigned, and he certainly hasn't visited classrooms and met with parents whose schools have suffered devastating, inequitable budget cuts during his administration. I taught in the Bronx and Brooklyn for 24 years and I know the great work that teachers and public schools do day in and day out. The governor can't honestly say that. Maybe he should partner with NYSUT in scheduling town hall meetings in the coming months, where he can hear - unfiltered - the concerns parents, educators and students have about standardized testing, the Common Core and other so-called 'reforms.' We know what works."
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.