Though the bluster of the Chicago teacher strike calmed down last week, the tensions between teacher’s unions and prominent mayors have not ceased. For his part, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is siding with his Second City counterpart, Rahm Emanuel, who pushed for changes to Chicago’s public school system despite opposition from the local teacher’s unions. Mr. Bloomberg discussed the situation this morning at NBC’s third annual Education Nation Summit at the Bartos Forum of the New York Public Library.
“I think Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, was quite right to move towards a longer school day,” he said. “I also think Rahm was right in pushing towards evaluations as a reform that the Obama administration made as part of Race to the Top.”
In his appearance on Fred Dicker’s radio show today, Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the controversy over teacher evaluations. Last week, State Education Commissioner John B. King announced suspended millions of dollars in funding from schools in the five boroughs and nine other districts around New York that missed a deadline to agree on plans for teacher evaluation programs. Governor Cuomo, who called for an education commission to come up with an evaluation plan in his State of the State address last week, described the situation with as a “major crisis for the state.” Though he doesn’t plan on personally getting involved in the tense negotiations on evaluations going on between local school districts and teacher’s unions, Governor Cuomo said something has to give.
“This situation is not going away, we need the evaluations done because it’s how we improve education. Second, we need an evaluation system, because it was the condition of the federal funding and it’s not going to get better,” Governor Cuomo said.