High-Stakes Standardized Testing Supporter: Robert Cornegy

Name: Robert Cornegy
Council Link: https://council.nyc.gov/robert-cornegy/
Ballotpedia: https://ballotpedia.org/Robert_Cornegy
Phone: 718-919-0740

Robert Cornegy is an NYC City Council member and a candidate for Brooklyn Borough President. He represents city council district 36.

Mr. Cornegy is also a firm supporter of the SHSAT specialized test as the sole measure of student ability. Even as just about every expert explains that he can’t rely on a single 90 question multiple-choice test as the sole measure of a child’s academic ability.

Judging from Mr. Cornegy’s interviews, I can only conclude his position stems from a lack of understanding rather than a firm belief of any kind.

So I’ve taken some stances that I don’t care whether they’re popular or not, they were right. I was one of probably the only Democratic members who voted for an expansion of charters, because charters in my district have provided a pathway for students to do really well, especially on socialization and standardized testing, which I think are two of the pillars for our students to be successful. I’ve also fought diligently to bring back Gifted and Talented programs.

Robert Cornegy to PLACENYC interviewer

I’m a tremendous advocate for not removing the test into our specialized high schools. I’ve been fighting against that. Again, very unpopular at the council, right? For some reason, they see the necessity to do away with something that I think has been a great tool for students to be able to access. So I’m in that fight with you ( PLACENYC). So you have an advocate and an ally on the council in that fight to make sure that we’re not removing.

Robert Cornegy to PLACENYC interviewer

Yeah, I don’t particularly care for that program ( D15 integration plan ) because I think that there are … I remember when we fought to bring the Gifted and Talented programs back.

Robert Cornegy to PLACENYC interviewer

So again, I’m on the Education Committee at the council and have established great relationships. The Borough President’s Office, as I mentioned, has the largest bully pulpit. So everything from sounding the alarm to work with advocates like you on the call for a good solid education policies swings the pendulum, right?

Robert Cornegy to PLACENYC interviewer

One of the things that’s happening is people are listening to advocates around tests and around the specialized high schools more. There was a time when the advocates were trying to just push so hard to to get rid of the test. Me being an African American male and standing up and saying, “No, we don’t want to get rid of the test. Change the whole …” It slowed down the process. The test probably would have been going because the mayor wanted it gone, and the chancellor wanted it gone and these advocates. But there were black people like me, who said, “No, no. We never said we wanted the test to go away, we think there shouldn’t be a measurement tool.” Consequently, the fight still continues and we’re getting momentum. With the larger platform and from the borough president’s office, I can take the momentum that we already have. Like you said, which is the best analogy somebody can get, swinging the pendulum the pendulum back in the right direction.

Robert Cornegy to PLACENYC interviewer

So I’m a top tier candidate, even though I’m not walking in lockstep with some of the wild, crazy ideas around shifting policy and education as it relates to our kids. So I think it’s an excellent opportunity to invest in someone who is like you, who’s been a part of the system, who’s not idealistic, but who’s practical about what we can do to change the system and who’s a hard worker. So I would just ask that you continue to spread the word that there’s somebody out there that’s incredibly interesting in the in the educational space, who’s well steeped in what the needs are, and who stands on his own.

Robert Cornegy to PLACENYC interviewer

The full interview can be found on youtube.