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Cuomo calls education most important; glad to finish father's work

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Responding to Wednesday’s early-morning passing of the New York State Budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo said reforming the state’s education system is arguably the most important responsibility of his position.Speaking about the state’s hotly debated evaluation system, Cuomo noted that teacher observation is nothing new.

“We did this two years ago – we asked the local districts to put an evaluation system in place, nobody did. The next year we came back and said if you want the increase in state money, you have to put in an evaluation system, everybody did,” said Cuomo.

According to the Governor, previous observations were meaningless, because localities set their own standards to appear efficient. He said the new system will have principals performing the evaluations. Cuomo said teachers and unions were traumatized by the practice because it meant change. He said despite disruptions to bureaucracy, education reforms will be one of the greatest legacies of his time in office.

Turning to the matter of strict ethics reform, Cuomo said he’s proud to complete the work his father set out to do three decades ago.

Cuomo said, “The ethics bill is – at the end of the day – one of, if not the strongest in the country in terms of disclosure of clients and outside income of elected officials. And it’s transformative for the ethical climate of the state.”

He said his father, former three-term New York Governor, Mario Cuomo, told him he was sad not to have been able to accomplish such a level of transparency for state officials.

Avery began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey for WRUB, the University at Buffalo’s student-run radio station.