Education Reform Now, a coalition of groups pushing for changes that would improve New York’s chances at landing “Race to the Top” funds, launched a statewide TV ad that blasts the teachers union for the state’s Round I failure.

The ad calls for state lawmakers to raise the charter school cap before applying for Round II of federal cash.

New York’s eleventh-hour failure to pass cap-lifting legislation has been widely cited as one of the key contributors to the state’s second-to-last placement among RttT competitors in the first go-round. (There were, of course, other problems, too).

Gov. David Paterson has said he would like lawmakers not to leave things to the last minute for Round II.

(The deadline is June 1; at the rate budget talks are going, the Legislature might still be in Albany by then).

Some states are taking another look at RttP, raising questions about the criteria with which the first winners (Delaware and Tennessee) were chosen and saying they’re not sure if they want to participate in competition.

As it turns out, state Ed Commissioner David Steiner is scheduled to appear on “Capital Tonight” this evening to discuss RttP, what tanked New York’s Round I application and how he’s approaching Round II. Tune in at 8 p.m. and again at 11:30 p.m. to catch that.

In the meantime, here’s the 30-second ad, which is running statewide on broadcast and cable stations. The script for “RIGHT THE WRONG” appears after the jump.


“When the teachers union stood in the way of common-sense education reforms, our public schools lost $700 million from the Obama administration – money we could have used to stop devastating budget cuts. That’s just wrong.”

“But Albany can still get the money from Washington by raising the cap on charter public schools and demanding greater accountability from teachers in the classroom. Albany should do what’s right. There are 700 million good reasons why.”