Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to “reimagine” what education may look like in the future in New York State possibly including more remote interaction with teachers and students.

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In comments carried on WIVB-TV the Governor stated...

“We’ve all been talking about tele-education, virtual education, remote education, and there’s a lot that can be done. The old model of everybody goes and sits in a classroom and the teacher is in front of that classroom and teaches that class, and you do that all across the city, all across the state, all these buildings all these physical classrooms – Why? with all the technology you have?”

The governor plans to put together experts that will work in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to come up with a plan focusing on the future of education in New York State.

“What he’s calling re-imagining, he’s got a warped imagination, because it sounds more like a horror film,” said Phillip Rumore, president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation. “I think that anybody who thinks that you can start to replace the interaction between students and teachers in the classroom doesn’t have a clue as to what education is all about. The most important thing that students learn is through the interactions with their teachers and through the other students. In some ways that’s more important that the subject matter.”

Distance learning could be better for some older students, but some aren't sure of how younger students will react.

“It’s a given, that some things have to be re-imagined, especially in the new world that we’re living in,” said Joe Weiss, former school principal Clarence Schools central school. “But students starting with 4 year olds and up, they need somebody to wipe their tears away, or tell them to get a tissue, because their nose is running, or any one of the thousands of things and the older the child gets, the more likely that distance learning can be successful. But in elementary school, it would be a nightmare.”

Buffalo City School District Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash says a broad involvement of people is needed to help restructure education in the future.

“I would also want to know that his experts include people on the ground who have been working in this space for a long time, I would like him to include superintendents with experience and proven expertise. I would like him to involve teachers, and principals with proven expertise and experience and then of course involve our parents in that kind of work going forward,” Cash said. “If he does all of that then it could be promising.

Cuomo is calling on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to come up with a plan.

The governor didn’t give any indication of when we’ll know more about the re-imagine education partnership.