Bloomberg, Cuomo Will Work Together On Teacher Seniority

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a day after their public clash over a teacher evaluation system to determine layoffs, said Thursday they are now working together.

“He needs a law passed,” Cuomo said of Bloomberg at a news conference on Staten Island. “He understands it’s not easy getting a law passed in Albany, especially on a controversial matter like that, and he wants my help doing it. And I’m going to give him my help.”

The state’s Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill Tuesday that Bloomberg wanted. It created a teacher evaluation system based on performance. It would end the current policy of basing layoffs on “last in, first out,” meaning a good, younger teacher would lose his or her job before a more senior teacher, even if the older one was an inferior instructor.

Bloomberg, an independent, wanted the law hurried through so he could use the new process as early as this spring, when thousands of layoffs may have to begin. Progress on that bill ended when Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver blocked it and the Democratic governor introduced his own to create a teacher evaluation system that would be ready for use in the September semester.

Bloomberg and Cuomo disagreed on whether Cuomo’s bill was even tied to enacting layoffs or if that would require separate legislation to link the evaluation system.

Teachers unions praised Cuomo for his intervention.

Cuomo said he thought “the mayor’s point is justified.”

“We’re talking about the same time frame — not tomorrow, but not six months from now, either,” Cuomo said.

Bloomberg, an independent, said Thursday at a separate news conference that Cuomo shares his view on teachers’ quality.

“We both have exactly the same interest of getting the best teachers we can in front of the classroom,” he said. “Sadly, we are going to have to lay off some teachers. We just don’t have the money.”

Cuomo noted the effort to create an objective evaluation system that could be used to improve faculty and schools statewide as well as for layoffs is being watched closely by unions representing other types of workers.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg said Cuomo’s idea “simply kicks the can down the road, kicks some of our best teachers to the curb.”

Cuomo said Thursday he understood the mayor’s frustrations.

“I think the mayor is or was frustrated in dealing with the legislative process in Albany,” Cuomo said. “I understand how one could get frustrated with the legislative process in Albany.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Tina

    There is tremendous amount of mismanagement of funds in the Dept of ed. Instead of being so quick to layoff teachers, why not do a top to bottom evaluation of all the sub-departments within the Dept of Ed, get rid of this waste and put the money back into the classrooms. Case in point, my child attends a public school in Brooklyn with a student population of approximately 300 students. The school has, in addition to the principal, two assistant principals and one administrative assistant to the principal. One of the assistant principals was excessed from a failing school and placed in my child’s school. Does a school with as little as 300 students really need two assistant principals? It’s outrageous — the money spent keeping that excessed assistant principal in the school could be used to save a teacher or two from being laid off.

  • Straightshooter

    Cut welfare and medicaid for blacks,jews, and wetbaks.

  • Max Victor

    Broken infrastructure (roads, railroads, etc.), broken schools (easy curriculum compared to other countries), broken tax system (tons of loopholes), broken morale (no more national pride), etc. Everyone is complaining, however let’s look in the mirror and see if we think we have the power to fix the business processes and the people who are running these processes. Unless common sense people who really want the best for this country are elected to public office who understand the concept of sacrifice, and/or in the extreme case, an autocrat who has unlimited power with good intentions comes to lead us, I believe, unfortunately, we are on a downward path. :)

  • Adalberto Massa

    Ultimately, this is sophistry being used as a diversionary tactic. The public is being duped with classic “con-man” bait and switch tactics. Why is it assumed that newer teachers are better teachers? And why are we questioning the value of tenure, rather than a flawed process which allows bad teachers to attain tenure? The entire system is plagued by mis-management. Schools are being closed, which overcrowds other schools and brings down their achievement levels, while new school construction is being planned.This is a blatent attempt to undermine workers pensions, while using improvement as an excuse. While millions are being lost in time keeping scandals, or tax free real estate deals being conducted by our mogul mayor, the public is being duped into thinking that its hard working city employee’s that are breaking the budget. Contrary to popular belief, the average city worker makes less than those in the private sector. It is only the benefits , such as health care and pensions, that makes working for the city, less than stupid. Judging workers based solely on merit, will never work in a system that is reknowned for cronism and corruption. Why must one wait until layoffs in order to fire bad workers? If their work performance were actually the criteria, one would not need to wait until layoffs.

  • angelina

    The sad part about the NYC board of education it does not reflect the the students that use the system. It still very much controlled by Jews but very few New York Jews send their kids to public schools. Its discusting racist and horrible.

    • The Truth Don't Lie

      You might be right, however, at this point it looks like it’s gone far beyond ethnicity. Its all about money now. Unfortunately teachers are the target. Teachers are being assaulted from all sides and the students know they have teachers right where they want them. Sad really.

    • Josh

      If it was controlled by Jews, it would be successful. Don’t blame the Jews for your own stupidity.

  • The Truth Don't Lie

    Elected officials send their children to private schools or prestigious public schools. They have no idea how much our society has changed and how tough it is to get today’s unmotivated student to achieve academically. If you were a teenager again, with 2 cell phones, an I-pod and nice clothes handed to you without learning about ‘work ethic’ or doing well in school first, you wouldnt see school as your #1 priority. It’s not the teachers per say, its a societal and family problem. There is a correlation between a supportive and loving family and a motivated , successful student. Sorry, but it’s tru.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live