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On NYSUT

March 18, 2015

The Governor’s first impulse will be to say the Q-poll is wrong, but it’s not.

It’s simply not a winning strategy to attack teachers. It never was and never will be.

It’s especially problematic to do it if you have a general weakness with women voters.

It’s even more damaging  if you do it a way that reminds voters of other issues they really don’t like.

In this regard, Cuomo’s championing of evaluations for teachers smacked of common core testing for students in the minds of a lot of ordinary people.  Those are actually two separate issues, but they’ve become conflated.  Voters see Cuomo pushing testing. Period. They don’t like it. They think it’s unfair. They think he’s unfair.

The result is a truly remarkably tanking of Cuomo’s poll numbers. It’s fueled by a precipitous drop in support of women, particularly upstate and suburban women who care about schools.

The drop coincided with Cuomo pushing his sex crimes on campus initiative. Think of what the drop might have been without that initiative.

And think of what the drop might have been had NYSUT not pulled its TV ads a month ago. They were good ads. They featured women teachers speaking directly to Cuomo saying in effect: “How dare you say that I’m the problem.”

This post is actually about NYSUT, once the state’s most powerful union, but now a shell of itself due to internal conflict within its own ranks and with other teacher unions.  One would have thought that Cuomo’s unprecedented attack would have unified the teacher reps, but no.  They are still fragmented, still paralyzed, still seemingly unable to capitalize on this moment in which Cuomo seems so vulnerable on education policy.

(Even as we are writing this, the UFT’s Mike Mulgrew is negotiating with Cuomo’s office on his own, going around NYSUT.)

The entity that may capitalize on Cuomo’s vulnerability, however, is the Assembly.  Now that the Assembly has taken ethics off the table, it’s free to do what it wants to do – a wholesale re-write of Cuomo education policies.

Cuomo, stung by the poll, and wanting mainly and perhaps only an ethics victory, might go along. NYSUT would benefit, although not as a result of its own efforts. It will simply luck out.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    March 23, 2015 5:51 AM

    Do you have documented proof of Mulgrew’s dealings with Cuomo or is this conjecture?

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