Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Senator's Agenda

Dr. Matteson from TST and I went to Senator Seward's press conference today in Cortland, at which the Senator unveiled his agenda for the coming budget year. My main reason for going was the Senator's reference in his release to "modifications to the Common Core Learning Standards," which tends to make my hair stand on end when I hear it from politicians. However, we were pleasantly surprised to hear him differentiate correctly between standards and assessment and between standards and teacher evaluation, and he was amenable to Dr. M's suggestion for a one-year moratorium on using the new tests to evaluate teachers. As for the rest of the agenda, some of it we'd heard before (kill the SAFE Act, cut corporate taxes, fund all state mandates). He's very much behind extending broadband into those pockets of his district where it doesn't yet reach. I can honestly say that the leftest of Cortland legislators is probably to the right of the rightest of Tompkins legislators; they wanted to hear when we were going to be allowed to frack and why they can't hire capital-project workers at half the going rate.

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