Cuomo to UFT: Come thou no more for ransom, you will have none I swear but these my joints

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Andrew Cuomo prepares to go to war with NY edu-reactionaries.  Governor Cuomo is not taking this course because he has been tricked into it by right winger or corporate interests (they Governor banned fracking earlier this week) but rather because his own sense of justice demands it.

8 Responses to Cuomo to UFT: Come thou no more for ransom, you will have none I swear but these my joints

  1. Rather than attributing Cuomo’s actions to his “sense of justice,” I think it’s safer to say that he believes it is in his interest to take these steps despite Union opposition. Rallies by thousands of charter families in the street may have suggested to him that there is a voting block he can woo by protecting and expanding charters.

    I only make this point about his interests rather than sense of justice because Ed Reformers will fare much better if they focus on political interests than justice. Charters have survived a lethal attach and are thriving in NY because the program created its own constituency who could fight for charters, not because an alphabet soup of advocacy organizations tweeted that shutting down charters was unfair.

  2. matthewladner says:

    Is there an organized constituency that will march in the streets when low-performing teachers are let go?

  3. Probably not, which is why it is unlikely ultimately to amount to much. We’ve seen plenty of cities and states where declarations have been made about identifying and dismissing ineffective teachers and virtually none have accomplished much of that. Expect the same here.

  4. But the charter expansion is a big deal and something Cuomo will do over Union opposition. He will do it because there are voters and other organized interests who want charters.

    There are no organized interests for dismissing teachers.

    • matthewladner says:

      The question is not whether it will amount to much, but rather why he is willing to take it on. It surely isn’t interest group politics.

  5. If the Unions understand that it is largely rhetorical or know they can easily block or dilute it, then they don’t make Cuomo pay much of a price for it. If you don’t actually do it, who isn’t against getting rid of bad teachers? Even Unions say they are in favor of that.

    Look, justice arguments are good for the long run in creating the conditions for programs to be passed and constituencies developed, but it is the political interests of constituents that really matter here.

  6. Greg Forster says:

    No need to embrace cynicism just because you want to avoid naiveté. Why appeal only to interests and not justice, or only to justice and not interests? Why use only one weapon when we can use both? Jay, you’re the one who used to tell me that accurate data and research do make a difference in policy debates. People’s sense of justice also matters. Even if we were to posit that Andrew Cuomo is a sociopath (which is what you need to posit in order to say his sense of justice has an importance of zero in explaining his actions), the sense of justice of people at large will impact Cuomo’s interests. Cuomo’s self-interested calculations have to include the fact that people have a sense of justice.

    For school choice, justice and political interests are like chocolate and peanut butter – two great tastes that taste great together!

    • OK, ok. Again, Control-G (and Control-M)!

      My point is simply that ed reformers tend toward an unproductive righteousness without sufficient attention to real-politik. Of course, attending to both justice and interests is best. I’m just trying to correct for an excess in one direction.

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