Governor Cuomo has recently decided that our struggling students, the ones who hate school the most, need to have a longer school day. That, he believes, will improve their test scores.
How did he come up with this idea? Research? Naah. There doesn’t seem to be any that supports his idea-du-jour.
Maybe – and I’m just guessing here – some of the potential donors to his 2016 Presidential campaign have put this silly idea in his head. Evidently, he’s already put an “exploratory” committee together for his run. And, if you have been reading this blog, you already know that many new charter schools have been established to help under-served kids and, oh yeah, to launder money for hedge funds and some other corporate entities.
I imagine, and again – with no proof – that this 2016 Presidential run is on the top of Gov C’s “to do” list. This, I surmise, is why he proclaims he wants to fight climate change (after Hurricaine Sandy) but refuses to come out against hydrofracking in NYS – a drilling practice that will surely release methane and other greenhouse gases. That’s not as important as his main priority: he needs money to run for President. Big Money. Big Oil. Big Donors. I may be making a Big Mistake here, but I can’t lose the idea that the “longer school day,” an idea pushed by charter school managers, comes from the same corporate cronies who can help fund Gov C in his drive to the White House.
Perhaps he needs to head back to school. He needs to learn what works with kids. Clue: it ain’t longer school days. He also needs to learn more about research. It’s obvious that he hasn’t looked deeply into education or environmental studies. On the plus side, he’s good at networking….but I doubt he’s seeking out educators or environmentalists to deepen his campaign fund. I could be wrong, of course. I’m willing to be wrong. But I do think he needs some more school time. He could go back to school and stay longer and longer. He could see how that feels. Maybe while he waits for that final bell to ring, he’ll discover how to create sane education and environmental policies for New York that are actually based in experience and rigorous science.
But he’ll have to leave his ambition at the door if he hopes to learn anything.
For an excellent post about this, please see Arthur Goldstein’s NYC Educator blog.