Governor Cuomo: "Failing schools no longer an option."

Posted at: 08/30/2013 6:49 PM

Failing is no longer an option. That's what Governor Cuomo is saying about New York's low performing schools. He is proposing a plan that will shut down schools that don't make the grade. The Rochester City School District has one of the lowest graduation rates throughout the state, so some of our schools may be at risk.

The governor says he knows what schools are doing well and what schools need to improve. He's been evaluating teachers throughout the state and now he's ready to give school districts an ultimatum, either improve or shut down.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “It's inarguable that failing schools are not an option because it's not just a failing school, you're failing the children. That's what you're doing and you're paying some of the highest costs in the nation and that's just not acceptable.”

School districts across the state will be given a short window to change. If they don't improve, then the governor says something has to change. One of the options is a take over by the state or to put the schools under mayoral control. “Death penalty” will be placed on the school, meaning the schools will eventually be shut down or turned into a charter school.

Rochester Teacher's Association President Adam Urbanski weighed in on the plan. He says that state should not intervene and that they are improving by adding more time to school days and improving relationships between teachers and parents. He believes real change takes real time.

Urbanski said, “Threats and bribes don't work. Support and building of capacity and giving more flexibility. That would work.”

News10NBC did reach out to the Rochester City School District. News10NBC wanted to know their thoughts on the governor's plan. Our calls went unanswered Friday.

The governor says the state may step in as soon as next year. It's all up to the legislatures that handle what the state can do in terms of failing schools. He says that is going to be big issue next year.