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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Florida
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 81,824

About Me

Retired teacher who sees much harm to public education from the "reforms" being pushed by corporations. Privatizing education is the wrong way to go. Children can not be treated as products, thought of in terms of profit and loss.

Journal Archives

The trade clause that overrules governments. Meyerson WP column.

I have been aware of this part of the trade deals, but somehow Harold Meyerson has a way of making the issue simpler for me (not an economist) to understand. From the WP October 1.

The trade clause that overrules governments

One of the public policy paradoxes of the past quarter-century is why the center-left governments of advanced economies have supported trade policies that undermine the very environmental and labor protections they fight for at home. Foremost among these self-subverting policies have been the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions included in every significant trade deal the United States has signed since Ronald Reagan’s presidency. Under ISDS, foreign investors can sue a nation with which their own country has such treaty arrangements over any rules, regulations or changes in policy that they say harm their financial interests.

These suits aren’t heard in the courts, however. If a U.S. company wants to sue, say, California or the Environmental Protection Agency, it must pursue its claim in a California or federal court. Under ISDS, however, a foreign-owned company suing California or the EPA gets to plead its case to an extra-governmental tribunal of three extra-governmental judges engaged just for that case — and the judges’ ruling can’t be appealed to a higher court. Under ISDS, there are no higher courts.

That was clear and to the point.

The mockery that the ISDS procedure can make of a nation’s laws can be illustrated by a series of cases. In Germany in 2009, the Swedish energy company Vattenfall, seeking to build a coal-fired power plant near Hamburg, used ISDS to sue the government for conditioning its approval of the plant on Vattenfall taking measures to protect the Elbe River from its waste products. To avoid paying penalties to the company under ISDS (the company had asked for $1.9 billion in damages), the state eventually lifted its conditions.

....ISDS provisions began popping up in trade deals during the Reagan and first Bush administrations. The mystery is why they continued to be included in trade deals, such as NAFTA, enacted under Democratic administrations in the United States and social democratic governments in Europe and elsewhere. While beloved by Wall Street, they have drawn the increasing ire of environmentalists and labor advocates — two of the center-left’s key constituencies.

....Which raises the question of why the president of the United States thinks the jurisdiction of U.S. and European courts should be subordinated to those special ISDS courts. An E.U.-U.S. treaty with an ISDS clause invites a massive end-run around national regulations: Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch has counted 24,200 U.S. subsidiaries of E.U.-based corporations that could avail themselves of ISDS under the treaty, and 51,400 E.U. subsidiaries of U.S.-based companies that could do the same.

Florida Parents: “You’ll Soon Be Told Your Schools Stink” Even the best ones.

From Bob Sikes at Scathing Purple Musings:

He is quoting Scott Maxwell at the Orlando Sentinel. I can not access the article because I am not a paid subscriber to the Sentinel.

Florida Parents: “You’ll Soon Be Told Your Schools Stink”

Some background on this. The new testing coming up for Common Core next year in Florida was field tested only in Utah. Think about that. The demographics of the two states could not be more different. It makes no sense.

Get ready, parents. There’s a good chance you will soon be told your schools stink..

Almost all of them. Even the best ones.

We’re talking rampant F- and D-rated schools throughout the state, leaving you with the impression that public education in Florida is total failure.

That’s what’s happening in Utah under a new Common Core-based testing system — which Florida has chosen to follow.

Just last month, Utah warned that a “majority of schools” could end up D- or F- rated … even though the state believes its schools are still strong.

Now realize this model may be coming here.

There is more at the link about how the private schools getting voucher money both from taxpayer money and corporations (who then see their taxes cut which cuts into taxpayer funding for public schools) do not have to test. Lucky for them.

They do not even have to hire qualified teachers, and in FL there are no regulations on what they teach.

This business of forcing schools to call themselves failing and to tell parents they are failing is already going on in Washington state.

WA state schools must declare failure if even one student fails high-stakes test.

That’s right – because the state chose a different system for evaluating its teachers, Arne Duncan and the Department of Education are punishing Washington State schools. If they do not have 100% of their kids at grade level and above on the tests mandated by the Common Core curriculum, the schools are designated “failing.” So a school with a low-income population that raised its pass rate from 20% to 70% in the last three years is now a failure. In fact, 90% of public schools in Washington State, some in very fancy neighborhoods, are now failures.
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Oct 9, 2014, 04:30 PM (9 replies)

Don't obey Arne? WA state schools must declare failure if even one student fails high-stakes test.

The schools in Washington state are being punished, you see. President Obama's Secretary of Education has rules, and those rules must be followed or else.

Getting Ready for PARCC Testing – What will it do to our Teachers?

PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. You can read more about it HERE. Standardized test results determine which teachers are good and which are poor. So teachers are struggling to understand what this new test requires and how to elicit the best scores from their students.

That’s right – because the state chose a different system for evaluating its teachers, Arne Duncan and the Department of Education are punishing Washington State schools. If they do not have 100% of their kids at grade level and above on the tests mandated by the Common Core curriculum, the schools are designated “failing.” So a school with a low-income population that raised its pass rate from 20% to 70% in the last three years is now a failure. In fact, 90% of public schools in Washington State, some in very fancy neighborhoods, are now failures.

Given the consequences, why would the state legislature in Washington choose not to evaluate teachers using student test scores? And why would thousands of schools in California, Iowa, Vermont, and Wyoming join them? Because, despite being punished by the Department of Education with the loss of funds and a mountain of paperwork required for failing schools, some folks are honorable enough not to play the game.

That game goes something like this: You agree to implement Common Core Sate Standards. You subject the kids to massive amounts of high stakes standardized tests, and you use those test scores to evaluate their teachers. If you follow the rules of the game, you get a waiver from the 100% proficiency requirement of No Child Left Behind. If not, you become an instant failure.

Diane Ravitch agrees in Reign of Error. She points out that because students who have special needs or are English language learners bring down test scores, teachers who choose to teach our most vulnerable children are punished. The instability of teacher evaluation that is based on students’ test scores has also been well documented. Ms. Ravitch cites the example of the “worst” teacher in New York City (and this was printed in the newspapers to compound her humiliation) who was a teacher of new immigrants who left her class as they became proficient in English. Her principal believed she was an excellent teacher, but the math just didn’t add up.

No one is listening to the teachers or administrators of public schools. In 2011 658 New York principals had a revolt against the policies of Arne Duncan. They were not heard.

658 NY school principals revolt against Obama's school policies.

As of last night, 658 principals around the state had signed a letter — 488 of them from Long Island, where the insurrection began — protesting the use of students’ test scores to evaluate teachers’ and principals’ performance.

It is hard to overstate how angry the principals who signed are. Mario Fernandez, principal of Stillwater High School near Saratoga, called the evaluation process a product of “ludicrous, shallow thinking.”

Katie Zahedi, principal of Linden Avenue Middle School in Red Hook in Dutchess County. said the training session she attended was “two days of total nonsense.”

“I have a Ph.D., I’m in a school every day, and some consultant is supposed to be teaching me to do evaluations,” she said. “It takes your breath away it’s so awful.”

Washington teachers are very fearful and upset. I can not blame them.

A Washington state school board member appealed to Arne Duncan. He asked him to Stop saying their schools were failing.

Dear Secretary Duncan,

Last week you revoked Washington State’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waiver, resulting in nearly every school in Washington being considered failing by your Department of Education. This summer, as a School Board Director in Lake Stevens, WA, you’re requiring I send a “failure letter” to parents of any school that receives your funding.

Your reason for revoking our waiver: we didn’t pass legislation you wanted. More precisely, we passed legislation, but it didn’t have the wording (actually, one specific word) you wanted.

Since you’re so distant from us – nearly 3,000 miles by one measure – let me tell you about this other Washington: We have strong leadership in our board rooms, schools, and classrooms; we have professional and effective educators; and our students are capable, confident, and work extremely hard. But don’t take my word for it – our SAT scores, among other measures, speak for us.

When NCLB was passed twelve years ago, it focused America’s resolve to elevate our children and our future. It was about accountability, about setting lofty and worthwhile goals, but it was also about believing in our educators, leaders, parents, and students. It was about what we would strive for, work toward. It was aspirational.

Today, NCLB has been subverted into a name-calling, label-applying bully pulpit.

Calling successful schools failing? Not a good idea. This is not right wing conservatives doing this as people here often point out. This is a Democratic administration forcefully putting into effect the policies of George Bush.

Something is seriously wrong with that.

New report on charter school industry...$100 million taken in 15 states from public education.

That's truly stunning. This new group of educators is apparently doing a state by state check-up on what charter schools are costing due to "fraud, waste, and abuse".

They are called Integrity in Education. They partnered with the Center for Popular Democracy. We need groups like this because big media is in the pockets of the billionaire reformers.

New Report On Charter Industry Exposes $100 Million in Taxpayer Funds Meant For Children Instead Lost To Fraud, Waste & Abuse

“Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud And Abuse,” authored by the Center for Popular Democracy and Integrity in Education, echoes a warning from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General. The report draws upon news reports, criminal complaints and more to detail how, in just 15 of the 42 states that have charter schools, charter operators have used school funds illegally to buy personal luxuries for themselves, support their other businesses, and more.

The report also includes recommendations for policymakers on how they can address the problem of rampant fraud, waste and abuse in the charter school industry. Both organizations recommend pausing charter expansion until these problems are addressed.

“We expected to find a fair amount of fraud when we began this project, but we did not expect to find over $100 million in taxpayer dollars lost. That’s just in 15 states. And that figure fails to capture the real harm to children. Clearly, we should hit the pause button on charter expansion until there is a better oversight system in place to protect our children and our communities,” said Kyle Serrette, the Director of Education Justice at the Center for Popular Democracy.”

“Our school system exists to serve students and enrich communities,” added Sabrina Stevens, Executive Director of Integrity in Education. “School funding is too scarce as it is; we can hardly afford to waste the resources we do have on people who would prioritize exotic vacations over school supplies or food for children. We also can’t continue to rely on the media or isolated whistleblowers to identify these problems. We need to have rules in place that can systematically weed out incompetent or unscrupulous charter operators before they pose a risk to students and taxpayers.”

The report can be found at www.populardemocracy.org and www.integrityineducation.org.

A new report from the group centers on the $30 million lost to fraud in Pennsylvania alone.

PA Charter School Fraud Totals $30 million, Education Groups Launch State-by-State Investigation

Philadelphia, PA, Washington, D.C. and New York, NY, October 1, 2014 — Today, the Center for Popular Democracy, Integrity in Education and ACTION United released a report titled “Fraud and Financial Mismanagement in Pennsylvania’s Charter Schools” that exposes at least $30 million lost to waste, fraud, and abuse in Pennsylvania since the passage of that state’s charter school law in 1997 and was the subject of a Philadelphia Inquirer exclusive this morning. ACTION United will hold rallies at Governor Tom Corbett’s offices in Philadelphia at 11:00 a.m. today and in Pittsburgh tomorrow.

“Pennsylvania’s children and families have been robbed by charter school operators to the tune of $30 million, and enough is enough,” said Ted Stones, who is on the board of directors of ACTION United. “Leaders in Michigan and other states are taking a stand, recognizing that there’s no sense in expanding a broken system without the oversight and integrity that our children deserve. We hope Governor Corbett has the same common sense.”

.....“Public funds should be spent nurturing students’ growth and potential, not on charter industry fraud,” said Sabrina Stevens, Executive Director of Integrity in Education. “With over $1 billion going to charter schools in Pennsylvania, it’s time for charter schools to be held to the same standards of transparency and oversight that public schools are held to.”

...The most common type of fraud in Pennsylvania was found to be misappropriation involving the misuse or theft of assets. In many instances, fraud went unnoticed by governing boards—in some cases for years—which experts say would not have happened had governing boards established strong internal controls. The problem is not limited to Pennsylvania—last May, a national report titled “Charter School Vulnerabilities to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” by the two organizations exposed over $100 million in public tax funds stolen from just 15 of 42 states that have charter schools.

Here is more about Integrity in Education, their editors, and their plans.

What We Do

For too long, a small, like-minded group of outside interests funded by corporations have taken advantage of existing inequalities and the bad conditions created by public disinvestment to advance a false narrative about our public schools. Without honest, accurate information about the true state of our schools, we can’t protect what is working or fix what isn’t.

That’s why we are committed to speaking the truth about our schools. Through hard-hitting media campaigns and unapologetic advocacy, we will change the education conversation by shining a light on the people who are making education for democracy a reality, while exposing the profit-driven corporate interest groups who are turning our public schools toward their private advantage.

FL charter won't keep poor students. Plans to teach public school teachers how to teach.

McKeel charter schools are high-ranking schools, identified as such by the state and rewarded with a state grant of $250,000. They have now applied to teach others how to teach since they are rated so highly.

And there it is. No one is calling them out on the fact that it's easy to be a high-performing school if you send over 12% of your students back to the public schools.

McKeel Academy doing another teachers’ workshop

LAKE PLACID — After hosting a seminar in February, members McKeel Academy of Technology in Lakeland will return Monday to host another seminar at the Heartland Educational Consortium in Lake Placid.

...Black said McKeel Academy of Technology made a proposal to the Florida Department of Education to have a program to pass on best practices to teachers and school administrators. Since McKeel was identified as a high-performing charter school in 2011, it qualified for a $250,000 Florida Department of Education Instructional Best Practices grant to pass best practices to teachers and administrators of schools graded C, D or F.

The program has held workshops in Kissimmee, Riviera Beach, Riverview, Palatka and The Villages. The workshop in Lake Placid hopes to reach peers in DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands and Okeechobee counties.

As I said it is easy to score well when you do not have any low performers. They have been sent back to the public schools.

FL charter school gets praise and high ranking..yet sent 12.5% of students back to public schools.

So there you have it...one set of schools getting taxpayer money gets to pick and choose their students, the traditional public schools don't get that luxury. If schools get public money, they should keep the students and work with them.

...School Board member Frank O’Reilly wants district official to start tracking how many students are transferred from charter schools to public schools as a result of their grades, social economic status or behavioral issues. During a work session this morning, O’Reilly read a letter sent by Harold Maready, superintendent of McKeel charter schools, to a parent about their third grader who flunked the FCAT.

“Your child does not meet the criteria to be a McKeel student,” O’Reilly read.

If public schools were to reject students based on their academic performance, then they could be A schools, too, O’Reilly said.

“We must take every child that comes through that door whether we like it or not,” O’Reilly said. ‘‘That is a public school paid by taxpayers’ dollars, and I like to remind Mr. Maready of that.”

Maready admitted they did not keep problem students.

Maready Defends McKeel's Policies

Maready acknowledges students are dismissed for failing the test.

"If we didn't have a waiting list, we would keep them," he said.

McKeel has a waiting list of 4,500 students for 2,500 slots, Maready said.

Students who don't meet McKeel's expectations are transferred to schools within their home districts.

"We are not equipped to serve all kids," Maready said. "Do you keep a child who is failing in your school when you've tried remediation? You look at that and you try to do what's best for the kids. We have limited resources."

Not equipped to serve all kids? Why the hell not? They get taxpayer money, but they only have to serve whom they choose.

It's disturbing to think that they get an award for being a top school when there are so many good public schools around.....schools that do not have the luxury of sending underperforming students anywhere else.

And it is infuriating for them to speak of "training" other teachers who are just as good or better.

Hey Floridians for Yes on 2 (Medical Marijuana)...next weeks rallies around the state.

Here is a link to the full statewide flyer.


Here is the United for Care website.

Here is the text version.

Dear Friends,

We’re taking the Amendment 2 “For the Patients” bus on the road next week, and we want to make sure you have all the details so you can come out and show your support for compassionate care in Florida!

There will be two events in each city – one at a local university to rally and get out the vote, and a Town Hall to answer questions from the community. Food and refreshments will be served, and you’ll get to hear from senior members of the Yes On 2 campaign, as well as patients, physicians, and caregivers.

Details of all locations and times are listed below. You can RSVP by clicking on the individual events which will link you to the Facebook event pages. This is a great way to invite your family and friends! You may also send an email to the event organizers. View the full statewide flyer here.

Student Rally with John Morgan
Monday October 6th, 10:00AM
University of Central Florida
Student Union
4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando FL 32816
RSVP to: Miguel@unitedforcare.org

Town Hall Discussion with John Morgan
Monday October 6th, 6:00PM
Winter Park Civic Center
1050 West Morse Blvd., Winter Park FL 32789
RSVP to: Miguel@unitedforcare.org


Student Rally with John Morgan
Tuesday, October 7th, 11:50AM
University of South Florida
Room MSC-3707
4103 USF Cedar Circle, Tampa, FL 33620
RSVP to: Bianca@unitedforcare.org

Town Hall Discussion with John Morgan
Tuesday, October 7th, 5:30PM
Tampa Park Plaza
1417 Tampa Park Plaza St., Tampa FL 33605
RSVP to: Bianca@unitedforcare.org

Town Hall Discussion with Ben Pollara
Wednesday, October 8th, 3:00PM
South County Civic Center - Room C
16700 Jog Rd., Delray Beach, FL 33446
RSVP to: Mhowson@unitedforcare.org

Student Rally with Ben Pollara
Wednesday, October 8th, 5:00PM
Florida Atlantic University
Student Union – Lot 16
777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, FL 33431
RSVP to: Mhowson@unitedforcare.org

Student Rally with Ben Pollara
Thursday, October 9th, 1:00PM
Florida International University
Graham Center – GC140
11200 SW 8th St., Miami FL 33174
RSVP to: Nick@unitedforcare.org

Town Hall Discussion with Ben Pollara
Thursday, October 9th, 7:00PM
Betty Ferguson Recreational Complex
3000 NW 199th St., Miami Gardens, FL 33056
RSVP to: Nick@unitedforcare.org

We have just over 30 DAYS to make sure all Floridians know Amendment 2 is on the ballot November 4th, and that voting YES means our sick and suffering will have safe, legal access to a proven medicine that works.
We’re really looking forward to seeing you out on the campaign trail!
- Ben
Ben Pollara
Campaign Manager
United for Care

P.S. Can't make it to the events? Please help show your support by making a donation to our $50k goal.

Paid for by People United for Medical Marijuana, 20 North Orange Avenue, Suite 1600, Orlando, FL 32801
Posted by madfloridian | Thu Oct 2, 2014, 10:09 PM (7 replies)

NC charter school teachers can't get paid, can't get unemployment. State has no record of school.

There is a video at the news link as well as the article. The charter owner speaks as if there is no problem. State investigating what happened to the $285,170 they gave the school in July.

Charter school teachers concerned about not getting a paycheck

She says this is what he told her. "The school is shut down," Frye said. "So I don't have any money to pay you, so I don't know what to tell you."

Other teachers are now worried about getting their paycheck. Their next pay day is September 30. But school's founder tells WBTV teachers will not get paid on September 30th. Stone says he is still working to find the money.

The teachers said working there was a challenge.

"We didn't have any textbooks," Berg said. "We didn't have any teacher support. We didn't have WIFI at the school, so we couldn't stream anything in. We couldn't do any research at school. We were handicapped to do the very best that we could for our students."

No unemployment insurance.

What makes matters worse, teachers say they can't collect unemployment while they look for work.

"The state doesn't have record of Concrete Roses STEM Academy," Berg said. "So we don't have any recourse."

Jessa Duggar compares Holocaust genocide of 11 million people to abortion.

Behind that sweet smile is a highly judgmental attitude toward those who face what are often life and death decisions to abort...a decision that is between a patient, her family, her physician. It is not nor should it be a religious decision.

Jessa Duggar Compares Abortion to the Holocaust Because This Is the World We Live In

The 19 Kids and Counting star recently visited Washington, D.C.'s Holocaust Museum and rather than absorbing the atrocity of one of the greatest horrors in recent history, she decided to leverage the genocide of 11 million people to support her view on abortion.

"I walked through the Holocaust Museum again today... very sobering. Millions of innocents denied the most basic and fundamental of all rights — their right to life," Duggar wrote on Instagram with a photo of a concentration camp. "One human destroying the life of another deemed 'less than human.' Racism, stemming from the evolutionary idea that man came from something less than human; that some people groups are 'more evolved' and others 'less evolved.' A denying that our Creator — GOD — made us human from the beginning, all of ONE BLOOD and ONE RACE, descendants of Adam. The belief that some human beings are 'not fit to live.' So they're murdered. Slaughtered. Kids with Down syndrome or other disabilities. The sickly. The elderly. The sanctity of human life varies not in sickness or health, poverty or wealth, elderly or pre-born, little or lots of melanin , or any other factor."

Duggar, 21, proceeded to quote from the Bible, writing: "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to every man according to his works?" (Proverbs 24:10-12) May we never sit idly by and allow such an atrocity to happen again. Not this generation. We must be a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Because EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS. #ProLife"

I was impressed by this last paragraph by the TV Guide reporter.

The Holocaust claimed the lives of 6 million Jews and 5 million others, including gay people, gypsies, communists and those with disabilities. They were subjected to horrific experiments, mass exterminated and worked to death if they weren't killed on sight. Abortion is a legal procedure that one in three women undergoes. By legalizing abortion, it has helped reduce the number of unsafe and illegal means of abortion, which is a leading killer of pregnant women. Whatever your stance on abortion, comparing it to the Holocaust is tone-deaf, insensitive and irresponsible.

The Games Charter Schools Play.

The Games Charter Schools Play

Frank Breslin is a retired high-school teacher with 40 years of experience in the New Jersey public school system, where he taught English, Latin, German, and social studies.

The first game is cherry-picking.

Rarely, do they accept students with learning disabilities, emotional disorders, autism, ADHD, speech or language impairment, behavioral problems, or immigrant children still learning English, since these students tend to test poorly and would lower a charter's overall average.

.....However, sometimes, a few students who do test poorly are accepted, and only later then asked to leave after a charter has received the public-school money that comes with these students.

The other game is trickier.

Charters play a second game. They seem to have a curious split-personality whenever it suits them. In one breath, they claim to be public schools entitled to taxpayer money, while, in the next, they claim they are not, being private schools exempt from public-school accountability.

This seems a bizarre self-contradiction. Charters claim that they're private schools in being able to admit only certain students, yet when they do accept taxpayer money, they're legally bound to accept everyone! But when they, in fact, accept only certain students, they are not entitled to taxpayer money! Is this legal or logical?

In fact back in 2011 one charter school claimed to be private, but still got 23 million dollars.

Chicago charter school claims to be private so teachers won't unionize. Got 23 million public money

Charter schools: Public or private?

Another Chicago charter has claimed it's a "private" school in order to stop its teachers from unionizing. The school has received $23 million in public funds since it opened in 2004. But eight months ago, a solid majority of the school's teachers voted to organize. The school's board, with backing from the charter school association and the Civic Committee, decided to spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees in hopes of stalling off union certification.

"In papers filed with the National Labor Relations Board, attorneys for the Chicago Math and Science Academy on the city's North Side say the school should be exempt from an Illinois law that grants employees of all public schools the right to form unions for contract negotiations. -- Tribune"

In 2013 NCLB decided Chicago charter school is really private, subject to private sector laws.

The National Labor Relations Board gives its verdict: charter schools are NOT public schools!

Teachers at a Chicago charter school are now subject to private-sector labor laws, rather than state laws governing public workers. The move could impact how public schools are run down the road.

The ruling, made by the National Labor Relations Board last month, said the Chicago Math and Science Academy is a “private entity” and therefore covered under the federal law governing the private sector.

The decision overrules a vote taken by teachers last year to form a union in accordance with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. At the time, two-thirds of teachers at the school approved the union and it became official under state law.

The author decides the charters can get away with these games because after all:

And that, more importantly, charters were here to stay with no need of any legal justification whatsoever because, in the end, Big Money talks!

Cuomo: Still won't cater to teachers' union. Says he doesn't need their endorsement.

He's planning on treating teachers and other employees the same as before. In 2010 he and his running mate announced they would take on public employee unions....and they did.

"What the Democratic Party is all about is growth and change," Cuomo said. "It's a new day. There are new problems that need new approaches. And that is what's meant by the new Democratic Party."

.."One change from the "old" Democratic party seems to be the willingness of Cuomo and his running mate Robert Duffy to take on a powerful constituency -- the public employee unions. Duffy has battled with union leaders in Rochester over some of his controversial proposals, including his call for more control of city schools. Cuomo says he respects that.

"Yes, he tangled with public employee unions," Cuomo said. "Guess what, we're going to be tangling with public employee unions going forward."

AND he's going to do it again when re-elected. He's proud of his stance against public employee unions.

Cuomo: No Shift In Treatment Of Teachers In Second Term

From State of Politics:

Asked about whether he’s shifting his tactics post-primary, Cuomo said he wouldn’t change his approach to public workers and teachers labor organizations.

“I knew what I was doing when I did not cater to the teachers union. I didn’t have to take the endorsement of the teachers union the first time, by the way.”

He's probably right. He apparently doesn't need teachers on board to win. I wonder if that is true of the nation-wide races coming up this year.

I think they believe it to be true, that teachers are not a necessary factor for winning...because there has not been one single solitary favorable move toward this group since 2009.

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