Common Core, Cuomo, and Comedy

Common Core Task Force

NYSUT is asking for teachers to submit their feedback about the Common Core so they can present it to the Governor’s Common Core Task force. Now, it seems pretty clear that this task force is a farce; it’s packed almost exclusively with pro-common core “reformer types,” is being led not by an educator, but by a former CEO (who also led Cuomo’s last CC task force), and has a ludicrous timetable (they have about 60 working days).  And while the task force is charged with looking at testing (length, quality, and quantity), use of student data, and the standards themselves, one thing that is off the table is the use of testing in teacher evaluations.

So should you even bother?

Yes, you should – for the simple reason that throwing our hands up and saying there’s no point in speaking up is exactly what they want. It’s what they count on. While it’s almost inevitable that any changes will be perfunctory at best, we don’t have to make this easy for them. We don’t want to give them the ability to say that teachers had the chance, but chose not to participate.

Click the links. Speak your mind on the NYSUT feedback page and send comments directly to the task force.  Even if you have nothing specific to say, just logging on and saying you think the task force is a farce is worth your time.

Is Cuomo Under Investigation?

Officially, the answer right now is no. But it was leaked last month that “Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara has expanded his anti-corruption crusade to the far western edge of the state — investigating Gov. Cuomo’s controversial Buffalo Billion revitalization project.”  A number of subpoenas have been issued, and while there is nothing yet that directly implicates the Governor, the circle is getting closer.   And the Buffalo Chronicle reports that “Political operatives from both parties expect that Governor Andrew Cuomo will be indicted by the US Attorney’s office on January 2nd of next year.”

The author of the Perdido Street School blog (usually a reliable source) is “dubious about the validity” of the indictment prediction, but it’s still an interesting thing to consider. If Cuomo were ousted at the beginning of the legislative session, would – as the Chronicle predicts – the result be complete gridlock? Or, with Cuomo out of the way, would the the Democrats in the Assembly and the Republicans in the Senate actually find the strength to do what their constituents want them to do and undo the train wreck they voted into law last April?

Adam Ruins Everything

The Riverhead News Review recently did a short feature on a new TV series starring former SWR student Adam Conover (class of 2000). The show looks pretty entertaining and, in addition to seeing our students succeed, its also nice to see them giving credit to their teachers:

While his standup career launched “Adam Ruins Everything,” it was in theater productions at Shoreham-Wading River, under teachers Jeffrey Bennett and Mary Hygom, that Mr. Conover’s his passion for performing began.

“The theater program was very serious for a high school theater program,” he said. “Productions were very professional. I remember in middle and elementary school my parents would take us because they were good shows.

Adam Ruins Everything is airing on truTV. Click here to check out some clips.

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