ALBANY, N.Y. April 22, 2015 — New York State United Teachers today launched a statewide television ad campaign criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his hedge fund billionaire backers for trying to "rewrite history" and push high-stakes testing and a corporate privatization agenda ahead of what's best for New York students.
The statewide television ads, which will run on cable and broadcast stations as well as on the Internet, call out the governor for his attacks on teachers and public schools. The 30-second ad says: "For months, Andrew Cuomo has attacked teachers and public schools. Now, with his support at record lows, so-called education reformers and their billionaire backers are running TV ads trying to rewrite history. But we know the truth. Cuomo wants to pile on high-stakes testing, privatize classrooms and divert money away from public schools by giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy. Governor, New Yorkers agree: Put politics aside and put our kids first."
NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said the campaign is designed to remind New Yorkers, "The governor is out of step with what parents, educators and communities want for their public schools. As the rest of the nation moves away from inappropriate high-stakes testing, the governor refuses to see the damage the over-reliance on standardizing testing is doing to students and what matters most of all - the teaching and learning that's taking place in our classrooms."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said, "The governor must start listening to parents, educators and local communities. They respect and value teachers and know what's best for their own schools. Instead of catering to his billionaire, hedge fund backers, the governor must start doing what's best for parents, schools and, most of all, New York's students."
The NYSUT campaign is expected to cost more than $1 million. It coordinates with a major TV campaign launched Tuesday by NYSUT's largest affiliate, the United Federation of Teachers.
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.