Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability

Education Policies in Governor’s Budget A Mixed Bag

Proposals Fail to Offer the Bold Reforms Needed to Fix the State’s Failing Schools

For Immediate Release:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Contact:

B. Jason Brooks, Director of Research

(518) 383-2598

(pdf)

The education policies proposed in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget unveiled today offer some good ideas, but unfortunately just tinker around the edges of education reform rather than offering a path to overhauling the state’s lowest-performing schools, according to the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, an independent statewide education-policy think tank.

Brian D. Backstrom, President of the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability, said:

“The governor’s executive budget unveiled today does not provide a plan – or even a reason for families and students to hope – for the top-to-bottom restructuring needed of the state’s failed public education system.”

Mr. Backstrom said of some of the specific education policies proposed in the Governor’s executive budget today:

Expanding Learning Time and Early Childhood Education

“Extending the school day and expanding pre-k programs will most benefit students already in quality schools.  Students trapped in failing schools, however, won’t benefit from more of the same low-quality instruction for just a longer period of time.  The Governor’s budget should have offered publicly-funded scholarships allowing students to escape bad schools and transfer to better-performing public or private schools of choice.”

Teacher Evaluations

“The New York City teacher-evaluation debacle showed that the threat of withholding state funds when districts fail to timely implement an approved plan isn’t enough.  The state should develop a high-quality ‘default’ teacher-evaluation plan that would be implemented by the state whenever a district fails to act.”

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The Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability is an independent, nonprofit, research organization dedicated to improving education in New York State by promoting accountability, stimulating innovation, and supporting school-choice efforts across the state.