A closer look at Gov. Cuomo's flawed budget

As the dust settles, a closer look at Gov. Cuomo's education budget proposals shows they are premised on the same principle that Michelle Rhee and Joel Klein used to promote—that individual teachers alone, without the necessary tools and resources, can ensure the success of every child, every year, as measured by that child's test score. And that if the teacher can't, she should be labeled a failure.

This ignores the importance of adequate funding, teacher voice and support, as well as the consequences of poverty. Even economists recognize that teachers are only responsible for about 10 percent of student achievement. Why would a governor as smart as Andrew Cuomo operate in such an evidence-free zone? By zeroing in on teachers and saying little else matters, the governor takes himself and everyone else off the hook. Parents and the broader public have recognized this; the Quinnipiac poll and others show broad support for increased school funding and opposition to the governor's emphasis on high-stakes tests and test scores.

Educators want and embrace fair and valid evaluation systems, and they appreciate the increase in state aid. But what the governor pursued was the opposite of what is necessary to attract, retain and support teachers, especially teachers of students with the most needs. Basically, the governor chose to pit education against all other needs of New Yorkers.

We would like to thank Assemblyman Carl Heastie and the other members of the state Assembly and Senate who tried to curb what the governor did. While we're disappointed they couldn't do more, we know full well that the governor has tremendous power in the budgetary process and holds most of the cards.