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Cuomo looks to Massachusetts for plan to help failing schools

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Education is one of the biggest issues being debated this year in Albany. Now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed that New York state look at a Massachusetts program to deal with failing schools.
Cuomo is asking state education officials to do a detailed analysis of the Massachusetts law that allows the takeover of chronically failing public schools. 
In a letter to New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, the governor's office asks the board to determine the specific measures that are making that state's program successful. 
In the letter, Cuomo's director of state operations, Jim Malatras, cites 178 failing schools in New York, including 77 that have been failing for a decade. 
The Massachusetts receivership model allows an outside entity to take over designated schools. Cuomo has proposed a similar law with a provision that the failing schools become "community schools." The letter says that given the preliminary success of the Massachusetts receivership system, a similar approach "could be transformative" in New York state. 
But not everyone agrees. The Alliance for Quality Education said in a statement that the governor's plan is based on flimsy evidence and represents unprecedented state overreach. 
Cuomo has demanded that education reforms be enacted this year in order for schools to get his proposed budget increase.