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Cuomo's call to reimagine education draws statewide criticism

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: May 06, 2020 11:10 PM
Created: May 06, 2020 10:54 PM

NEW YORK (WHEC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo's call to reimagine education with greater reliance on technology is being widely criticized by school leaders all over the state. 

News10NBC talked to a teacher and some school leaders who cautioned the Governor that online learning is just not working for everyone, and is simply heading in the wrong direction.

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Susan Spencer, Ph.D., is a Physics teacher at Rochester Prep High School. She says although we can't go back to the pre-pandemic system, we also need to be cautious about relying too much on online learning.

"I think it needs to be a hybridized approach that fits the needs of the students, their families, and the educators and really have a focus on bringing in teachers, and parents, and even the kids into the discussion about what this could be, and what it could look like," Spencer said.

Cuomo's seven-point challenge on how technology might change education in the future was presented on Tuesday.

The goal includes providing students more opportunities to take their classes no matter where they happen to be. Reducing educational inequity in our schools, and including English as a new language students. The plan also provides educators more tools to use technology just to name a few. 

"It’s not about just reopening schools," Cuomo said. "When we're reopening schools lets open a better school, and let's open a smarter education system."

Brighton Central School District Superintendent Kevin McGowan believes the governor is moving too fast.

"I think that there should be an opportunity right now to take a look at what worked the best in this situation, combined that with what works best in the brick and mortar environment, and think deeply about that," McGowan said.

New York State United Teachers released a statement saying in part, "Remote learning, in any form, will never replace the important personal connection between teachers and their students that is built in the classroom and is a critical part of the teaching and learning process."

Greece Central Board of Education President Sean McCabe says swift action needs to be taken.

"Society as a whole has to get on the stick and say no Governor, online learning isn't the wave of the future. Is there a way to incorporate online learning into the educational system, absolutely. I think online learning in today's day and age has a huge place, but it can't become the only thing," McCabe said.

He is also concerned about the Governor partnering up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Although a valuable asset, Gates' involvement in technology could mean a huge financial windfall for them.


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