New faces expected to make up Cuomo’s reform task force

New York

January 4, 2012

By Geoff Decker

(From Gotham Schools, January 4th, 2012)

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo convenes the education reform commission he promised today, there are likely to be some new faces in the room.

Cuomo signaled that he was tired of business as usual during his State of the State address today, saying that special interest education groups, such as lobbyists for teachers, principals, and superintendents, have come to overshadow the true mission of public education.

“The purpose of public education is not to help grow the public education bureaucracy,” Cuomo said in his speech. The status quo, he said, is “driven by the business of education more than achievement in education.”

Cuomo said that the education commission would be the driving force behind his pledge to toughen teacher evaluations and make the state’s education spending more efficient. He said the commission would be bi-partisan and include joint appointments from the legislature, but was not specific about what the makeup would look like.

Two people who work closely on state and city education policies said that they expected the commission to be made up at least in part of people from outside the state.

“It will be something that’s quite national, people from outside New York,” a source said. “It won’t be people from the usual crowd.”