October 26, 2016

The State of Education
By Matt Markham

(WBNG Binghamton) Governor Cuomo proposes sweeping changes to the State's public educational system beginning with a commission to study ways to put all of New York's schools on top.

New York spends more on education than any other, but is thirty-eighth in results.

In his State of the State address, Governor Cuomo proposes a commission to help close that gap. It is more important than ever in an economy that continues to grow globally.

"The bar for performance by all children, including the most talented of our children, continues to rise," said Regent James Tallon.

Cuomo asks that teachers also be held more accountable.

"We look at how students are learning, and student performance," said Dr. John King, NYS Board of Education Chairman. "We also look at what superintendents think of their principals' performance, what principals think of their teachers' performance."

This is of particular importance in areas where the need is greatest.

"Rural schools are a strength, they're the center of their communities and that I think that needs to be recognized," said Newark Valley CSD superintendent Ryan Dougherty.

Governor Cuomo said everybody in the educational system has a lobbyist except the students. He says he's going to be their lobbyist now. They've got a couple of suggestions for him.

"I'm very keen on keeping arts and music in our school," said Maine-Endwell senior Kendra Barton. "I'm afraid that those programs are going to get cut. It does raise grades, it gives you social skills."

Several students from M-E traveled to Albany to hear the Governor's message.

"It really is the students that are on the receiving end," said William Meckley.

"Those are the people who go out and start the businesses, and those are the people who are going to go out and make more money in the economy," said Tori Harris.

Cuomo did not say who would sit on the new education commission or when it would convene.

For some schools, any reform must also hinge on mandate relief.

A two percent property tax cap limits the resources of schools as it does local towns.