Thursday, November 21, 2013

Is Gov. Cuomo Trying to Dodge the Common Core Ball? How Cuomo, Obama Will Lose the 2014 Elections

*Who lost the 2014 election for the Democrats? Why Obama and Cuomo, of course!
UPDATE: links on John King / Assembly grills King on inBloom

New Yorkers have been engaging in an Autumn of fiery discontent against the Common Core, all across the state, as captured in many YouTube videos.  Education Commissioner John King has been predictably tone deaf to the people's pleas, offering a vague promise to "adjust" the Common Core State Standards in New York State.

Perdido Street School blog has been chronicling the ordeal, giving special attention to how the issue impacts Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo needs to think and act carefully on this issue, as many parents are outraged over the curriculum stemming from the standards, the standards coming from the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the private organization for the copyrighted standards, and organization that as noted in the New York Times, has no known board, salaried staff or address. At the moment he still seems strong enough to coast through his 2014 reelection bid next November 4. But that is nearly 12 months away and a lot could change. Fail to address the fiasco that is Common Core, the associated high stakes tests, the inBloom (Race to the Top student data mining program operating in New York) privacy steal could make him vulnerable to a challenge from a modest, professional acting Republican. (Scroll to end for 11/21 story on Assembly's grilling Commissioner John King.) The very real possibility is the loss of many local seats as New York and other states have state legislative elections in 2014.

The Daily News reported, "Gov. Cuomo calls transition to Common Core curriculum ‘problematic’ in parts."

The subtext is that Sheriff Andy is finally waking up and smelling the bitter aroma of the toxic Common Core coffee.

Critical Realignment in New York and the nation in 2014 and 2016?
You wonder if voters are reading through the tea leaves that if they want to shed King Common Core that voting against Cuomo alone won't do it, that it will take a general mobilization vs. the local reps in the state house to get King out. Beyond Cuomo's self-interest in salvaging his governorship, he needs to be mindful of how he could run for president if he comes off as obviously tin-eared and insensitive to the people's feelings as does John King. What a case the latter is. Here we have a Harvard College grad, Yale Law School grad, yet comes off as an empty-headed robot in terms of playing Charlie McCarthy puppet for David Coleman and ultimate manipulator Bill Gates.

Partisan realignment
Democrats worry about voter backlash over the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare? Greater concern to many voters, particularly those with children in the state and the nation's schools is the unending fiasco of Common Core. Between the double-whammy of Affordable Care Act backlash and the Common Core backlash, local Democrats have much to worry about as the party name is associated with key figures, nationally, Barack Obama, and in the state, Andrew Cuomo, Merryl Tisch and John King. Cuomo cannot so easily get away with passing the buck on saying it is all up to the legislature. When Cuomo sees political capital to be made (when catering to the top fiver percent as opposed to the bottom 95 percent) he gets right out there, speaking in public, and prodding the legislature. On Common Core, he might as well be prodding Russia or Syria. Oh, it's the legislature ... way out there. At least he can see the legislature more easily than Sarah Palin can see Russia.

We can see a realignment of votes, decreasing the power of Democrats, as voters are revulsed by Democratic policies. Voters in the middle will switch to Republicans. Left-leaning voters will sit out the election or will vote for minor candidates. Yes, few left candidates will win in coming years. But the sapping of support for Democrats --by just a few thousand votes in key districts-- can shift races to the Republicans. In sum, Cuomo-type Democrats are playing a risky game of political alienation of the rank and file voter. They are practically giving away key seats in the 2014 elections.

Teachers, obviously, can see the hands of responsibility behind the NYS APPR law travesty. State workers, even the Daily News recognized, can bristle at Cuomo's sweeping attack on public employee pensions.

"I want to be very clear we are committed to the work on the Common Core . . .We are committed to the agreement we made collectively as a state. Our commitment to these principles shall not waver." --NYSED Commissioner John King
Back to King Common Core
[A note after Perdido's post, Children Have Only One Childhood,  PJSTA's Beth Dimino: This quote reminds us that this is a polarized situation with no middle ground exit in sight.  King and Tisch are committed for it; parents, many teachers, many superintendents are opposed to it. It all is up to King and Tisch at this point. They are the public face of education in New York State.]

John King is the number one face of the Common Core in New York State. (Above quote from Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.) A colleague in a crash Ed.D. program at Columbia with Merryl Tisch, he had scant teaching experience, established a charter school that has grown into a franchise in Boston, served as deputy commissioner under the leadership of David Steiner (the commissioner who infamously signed off on the waiver on Cathie Black to become NYC schools chancellor) and at age 36 became probably the youngest education commissioner in New York State in 2011. As he was (unanimously) appointed by the state Board of Regents getting him fired is extra tricky. The Regents themselves are insulated from popular pressure as they are chosen by the state legislature.

Technically of course, it is up to the legislature to remove the two of them. The petition campaign for King's resignation should be re-drafted as a state-wide bi-partisan litmus test put to legislatures: Do you or don't you pledge to remove Tisch and King? The Vietnam-like quagmire is that the two of them are so deeply intellectually committed to the Common Core that there is no chance, short of legislative hearings on Common Core and more localities pulling away from Race to the Top, that they will entertain the idea of backing down from the Common Core.
While it is up to Tisch, King and the legislature, Cuomo must play a part in getting them to withdraw from Common Core. Too few people are aware that King and Tisch are unaccountable directly to Cuomo. Aside from his original adamant support for Common Core, people are likely to look to him as the elected official to direct their frustrations towards.

Just look at the margins in the New York State Senate races in the last mid-term election (2010). Just a shift of five thousand votes in several elections could swing several seats from the Democratic column to the Republican column. We can also envision Democratic difficulty to gain any House of Representative seats. See this NY Times map on gradations of support for Congressional candidates in the 2010 election.

MSNBC has too often remained stuck in pedal 24/7 for the fraud progressive reformer in Chief Barack Obama. But this Ari's Angle video is just brilliant on why Cuomo has dwindling liberal credentials:

5 Reasons Why Andrew Cuomo Will Never Win the 2016 Dem [presidential] Nomination:
1. Democrats 2. The Koch Bros (yes, he's received $ from them)
3. Taxes 4. Teachers 5. Labor (Ari Melber cited The Brooklyn Rail's question, "ANDREW CUOMO: New York's Scott Walker?")

Some progressives might drift to Hilary Clinton for president in 2016. But this one will push for self-declared independent socialist Bernie Sanders (Vt.).

Read John Nichols' piece in The Nation, "Bernie Sanders Might Just Have to Run for President." Here watch the ten minutes highlights of the Senator's historic 2010 "Berniebuster".

His speech has been made into a book.

And watch here as Keith Olberman offers some summary commentary, particularly on how the rich have gotten richer, under both Republicans and Democrats.

UPDATE. From Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:

Assembly grills education chief on data plan

A statewide furor about New York's plan to use a private company to aggregate student data boiled over Wednesday.
During a daylong state Assembly hearing, lawmakers and others heavily criticized plans to create a statewide website to store students' test scores and make the information available to parents.
At issue is the state's plan to use inBloom, an Atlanta-based technology company, to aggregate the student data.
As in the contentious Common Core debate, state Education Commissioner John King took the brunt of the criticism. Members of the Assembly spent two hours questioning King about potential security breaches in the system.
A group of New York City parents is suing to block the data from being released, and some downstate districts are dropping out of the program, forsaking federal aid.

"It helps no one if someone knows too much about an individual child in a way that is detrimental to that child and that family," said Assembly Education Committee chairwoman Cathy Nolan, D-Queens. "We're very concerned about what we've heard."
King repeatedly stressed that student information would be protected through a secure website, called the EngageNY Portal. He said the data would only be accessible to the parents of each child. The information would be valuable to teachers and students in comparing testing results and providing information about district policies and events, he said.
The site is expected to go live later this school year.
For rest of story go to link below: