Ratcheting Up Education Policy
by Anthony Stasi
Feb 18, 2015 | 6292 views | 0 0 comments | 118 118 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to pour money into public education – a lot more – comes with some very good additions.

The education reform crowd can arguably be split into two camps: those who want better results and those who want better benefits. In the governor’s State of the State speech this year, he outlined support for charter schools and a plan that would make scholarships for private schools through tax credits a possibility.

These are good ideas, and there is reason to think they are possible with this governor.

Andrew Cuomo has a tendency to get things done in areas where other executives have had trouble. Maybe its because he came into office when Albany was deeply polarized. He has been successful in getting budgets through the legislature, which was not so much the case for his two like-party predecessors.

Cuomo risked losing important progressive support when he leaned more toward the political center in the state’s previous budget. It was risky for a politician who may want to seek national office and will need to raise money from the progressive left.

If the governor is serious about his plans for improving education, he will again test the patience of the teacher’s union and progressive activists. However, he would be showing the good sense needed to realistically address the challenges of public education.

As Cuomo takes the approach that better outcomes are job one, he can get strong support from the center and center-right in New York politics.

C'est La Vie DNC

The Democratic National Committee has chosen to hold their 2016 soiree in Philadelphia. This is a slight to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who wanted the convention here in New York at the Barclay’s Center.

Although it would be nice to show off Brooklyn as the city’s hotspot, in the end this was no loss to the city.

National party conventions are awful for cities. While hotels, cabs, and small businesses can benefit, New York City always has business coming in anyway.

National conventions bring the worst to a city. When the Republican Party had their convention at Madison Square Garden in 2004, the protests were not a point of pride. They were ugly.

The DNC would probably get more respect if they were setting up camp in New York. For instance, there would probably not be any conservatives sneaking in to disrupt speeches, which is a challenge for the RNC every four years. (In fact, the conservatives almost never disrupt the DNC conventions.)

Nonetheless, there is confusion and chaos that comes with national conventions that New York City can happily live without.

There is a lot about New York City and Brooklyn that people should see without a major party creating the draw. This was no loss for New York City. We do not have to worry about crowd control. We do not have to worry about added security details.

The city may be more Democratic than Republican, but the city itself is better off without these circus events that ultimately cost more than they are worth. In a perfect world, both parties would have their conventions in the same place every election cycle: Las Vegas. Vegas is built for this kind of infotainment and it is perfectly (and purposely) designed for the amount of people the conventions attract.
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