If you were recently watching the most popular shows on television then you probably saw the New York teacher’s union multimillion-dollar ad campaign blasting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education plans that pushes standardized tests and other education agendas.
The United Federation of Teachers released a 30-second hard-hitting ad that accuses Gov. Cuomo of “attacking teachers and public schools,” while supporting the education plans of “so called education reformers and billionaire backers”. The ad continued to state that Cuomo’s education plan will “pile on high stakes testing. Privatize classrooms. And divert money away from public schools by giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy.”
The ad that is called “History,” which first aired in New York City and now all over the State, aired during popular television programs such as the Major League Baseball games – both the Mets and Yankees – “Mad Men” and “Scandal” to name a few.
It wasn’t that long ago when the onslaught of protests by parents, educators and students against Cuomo’s budget forced him to switch some of his education proposals and increase school aid by 5.8 percent.
The two-month long protests led by the UFT, the largest teacher’s union in the U.S., encouraged the state legislature to sign off on a state budget that will deliver $465 million to New York City public schools, the largest increase in eight-years. In fact, schools statewide will receive an increase of $1.6 billion, which is a lot more than the original proposal.
“We conducted different school building demonstrations around the city plus many public forums with legislators, parents, teachers and community leaders,” said UFT’s Bronx High School District Representative Dr. Eliu Lara. “They all agreed that the governor’s education agenda will damage our [kid’s education].
Dr. Lara, who was born in the Dominican Republic and migrated to the U.S. and received his doctorates while teaching high school math in the Bronx, says that Latinos and Hispanics need to be involved to secure the success of their children’s education.
“1 in 5 students in this country are Latinos. However, the graduation rate is down when compared with other races,” Dr. Lara says. “Latinos are the largest and [fastest] growing ethnic minority group in this country. We need an active voice when decisions that affect our students will be taken.”