Wednesday, January 9, 2013

State of the State

I haven't been a big fan of the governor's, but he gave a barn-burner of a State of the State address today, and I find little to argue with him about, despite his sins of omission (really, no mention of fracking? nothing about school equity?)

In a nutshell, his plans for education look smart and data-driven: increased time in school (with options for longer days and/or longer years), full-day pre-K for neediest kids, a "bar-exam-like" test for would-be teachers, higher admission requirements in teacher prep programs, rewards for master teachers, community schools with built-in health and social care in the neediest neighborhoods, CTE programs that match actual job needs, transformative technology through innovation zones, and regionalization and shared services to increase efficiencies.

His more interesting initiatives, however, are the ones that make a presidential run in 2016 seem even more likely: a 10-point women's equality act, raising the minimum wage and gutting the stop-and-frisk process, banning assault weapons, reforming campaign finance, and making NYS an academia-to-commercialization hot spot. Lots of ambition there, and lots to do.

Just one grump to grump: If you're going to submit a women's equality act that seems sincere and presenting it in a way that brings a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye, please make sure that the people you're calling out to honor as members of commissions, etc., aren't all the same old white guys.

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