Though no one expected Andrew Cuomo to be a Chris Christie, the tough-talking Empire State Democrat who promised to take on the unions ? well, he blinked.? As the New York Times reports, his teacher evaluation proposal
would expand the criteria by which teachers are judged, [but] would leave intact a provision in state law that requires layoffs to be carried out in reverse order of seniority, a policy known as ?last in, first out.? And the specifics of the evaluation system would still be subject to negotiations with unions, which could delay putting it into effect.
Though aides to the Governor tried to argue that the new evaluation system would ?supersede? (the Times word) LIFO problems, nobody was fooled, especially Mayor Bloomberg, who said,?
Anything short of [abolishing the seniority system]?will harm our students and jeopardize the progress that we made in the schools....? It simply kicks the can down the road, and it will kick some of our best teachers to the curb.
The Daily News was even?blunter:
How horrible is Gov. Cuomo's purported plan to avert the disaster of seniority-based teacher layoffs?
So horrible that it betrays the best interest of New York's schoolchildren.
So horrible that it is the functional equivalent of a fraud.
Hey. This is New York. Whad'ya expect??
--Peter Meyer, Bernard Lee Schwartz Policy Fellow