Marcellino: Mayoral Control And Charter Cap Will Be A Conference Decision
Incoming Senate Education Committee Chairman Carl Marcellino will meet next Wednesday with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to discuss the mayoral control issue, the Nassau County Republican said in a phone interview on Friday.
Whether to extend mayoral control of city schools, and how long that extension might be, will ultimately be an issue that’s up to the Republican conference, he said.
“We’re going to sit down on Wednesday and talk to Mayor de Blasio,” Marcellino said. “He and I will sit down and talk about the issues. There’s a lot to talk about. We’ll discuss the concepts. conference position. It’s an issue that has to e discussed in conference.”
The Democratic-led Assembly this week approved a three-year extension of mayoral control and Republican Sen. Martin Golden of Brooklyn on Thursday backed an extension, albeit without a time frame for a new expiration date.
By the same token, Marcellino said a proposal to lift the state’s cap on charter schools would also be up to the GOP conference as well.
“I don’t oppose charter schools, but how many there have to be has to be looked at,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan this afternoon formally announced he would appoint Marcellino to replace him as chairman of the Senate Education committee.
It’s a key spot in the Legislature, especially in the post-budget legislative session that is expected to contend with a number of high-profile education matters. Meanwhile, state lawmakers continue to grapple with contentious issues such as the Common Core education standards and how to evaluate teachers in the classroom.
He called the appointment a “major responsibility” and said he was optimistic changes could be made to the education measures approved in the state budget last month.
“We’ve got a lot before us there’s a lot to do on the table,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with our colleagues in both houses. We have to reach out to parents and teachers.”
Marcellino is the sponsor of a bill in the chamber that would extend the deadline for the implementation of the new evaluation criteria both at the state level and for school districts.
“I’m always optimistic,” Marcellino said. “I do believe we can work out an agreement with the Assembly and then hopefully the governor will agree.”
Marcellino knocked the introduction of Common Core in the state, saying its roll out was mishandled by education officials.
“Common Core is about improving standards,” he said. “I don’t think anybody can seriously be against higher standards. But it’s a question of how it’s implemented. The roll out was poor, it’s got to be implemented better.”
Marcellino introduced a separate bill this year that would provide teachers with the answer key to Common Core-based tests, which he said could help teachers improve.
“I do believe there is an overemphasis on testing,” he said. “Using testing as a learning tool is important. You have to give the questions back to the teachers so they can learn from the test. The test should be a learning tool.”
A former high school science teacher at Grover Cleveland High School, Marcellino indicated he was sympathetic toward how teachers are treated (Marcellino was a teacher at the same time Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Cathy Nolan was a student at the high school).
“Teachers have always been evaluated. We were evaluated constantly,” he said. “I don’t think any teacher fears an evaluation. We have to tell them this isn’t us against them. There’s no gotcha mentality in my approach to education.”
He indicated support for more money to develop teacher training methods and said the teachers unions should be getting involved as well to “make sure everyone has a fair shot.”
Nevertheless, Marcellino said there was little daylight between him and Flanagan on education issues, despite what he said were minor disagreements.
“I think we’re pretty much aligned,” he said. “John and I have been good friends for years.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 22, 2015 at 4:06 pm, and is filed under Education. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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