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Cuomo warns city, teachers to make evaluations deal

January 18, 2012 9:19:34 AM PST
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's new blueprint for the Empire State is touching off a new budget battle.

The main reason is that the governor wants to launch big changes in the education system.

In regards to the dispute over teacher performance evaluations, Cuomo says New York City needs to get it together or the state will intervene.

"If we are serious about education, we really have no choice," Cuomo said in his State of the State address Tuesday. "It's not just losing $700 million. This is a way to reform education."

Cuomo is giving teachers and state education officials 30 days to end their legal bickering over evaluations. If not, the governor will impose his own plan for grading teachers, making them more accountable for the work of their students.

Cuomo linked that threat with an ultimatum for our local school districts. They each must adopt new evaluation plans by this time next year, of they will lose their share of $700 million in federal aid.

"The equation is simple at the end of the day," Cuomo said. "No evaluation, no money, period."

New York City and the United Federation of Teachers haven't been able to reach that sort of deal. But the union says that's all Mayor Michael Bloomberg's fault.

"I am hoping that with the governor's proposal today, that will get the city back to the table to get this issue solved," UFT president Michael Mulgrew said.

Bloomberg told the editorial board at the New York Post that the teachers union doesn't care if the city loses $200 million in federal aid. The mayor says the only way to get a deal is to pass a state law that requires the teachers to accept a new evaluation system.

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