Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the Daily News editorial board on Thursday that the teacher unions’ interests are self-serving and said the only way to change a broken education system is if the general public is better informed.
“If (the public) understood what was happening with education to their children, there would be an outrage in this city,” he told the board. “It’s only because it’s complicated that people don’t get it.”
The governor called out the education system as broken and charged that the teacher unions have gone off track from the mission of serving kids. He said the union has failed to represent the students and is mostly about representing the teachers: teacher salaries, teacher pensions, teacher tenure, teacher vacation rights.
“I respect that,” said Cuomo. “But don’t say you represent the students.”
He decried that 250,000 kids over the past decade were trapped in failing schools, yet the unions’ focus has remained squarely on supporting teachers: “You want to talk to me about teachers’ rights? Why isn’t the question: ‘How did we let that happen to 250,000 kids — black and brown kids, by the way.’”
In his State of the State address on Wednesday, Cuomo unveiled an ambitious education reform plan that would make it easier to fire bad or lecherous instructors, revamp the teacher tenure and evaluation systems, and increase the cap on charter schools by 100.