But can you really blame him?
After the collapse in talks between the mayor’s Department of Education and the UFT last month, Albany went ahead and extended the deadline for yet another month for the City (and other areas — it’s just not us!) to come to some sort of agreement on teacher evaluations. The new deadline — the upcoming date of March 1st — is meant to give the two feuding parties a fresh start on negotiations that could secure over $300 million for the City in state and federal aid.
And, for state education commissioner John King, that’s seriously all we’re getting.
Of course, when dealing with the Bloomberg administration and the teachers union, that’s probably not enough time. As a result, Chancellor Dennis Walcott penned a letter to Mr. King, in which he basically said, “Hey, listen, this new deadline still isn’t gonna work.” No word from Albany on whether they’re going to hear Mr. Walcott out. In other words, we’re on our own.
Gov. Cuomo has already threatened to let Albany take the reigns over from local public schools for the $700 million worth in total aid allotment if no one can get their act together. And, now, Mr. King is jumping on the bandwagon, demanding that March 1st is the end-all be-all for this drama. If nothing significant proliferates before then, the State will weigh whatever plan is in the works for the City and make the decision for the DOE and UFT from there.
So, if an expiration of the March 1st deadline happens again, public school districts across the state will feel the tremors from City Hall. Godspeed.