Governor Andrew Cuomo complained recently that legislators were too concerned with protecting teachers’ pensions and unconcerned with protecting children in “failing schools.”

Station WGRZ says that the average pension for retired school employees is $41,000 and change. Cuomo thinks teachers will produce higher test scores if he threatens their pensions. Apparently he wants more test prep, more teaching to the test, more narrowing of the curriculum to eliminate the arts and physical education so there is more time for testing.

Please, someone, tell the governor that threats don’t improve teaching and learning. Tell him that carrots and sticks do not get “results.”

Tell him to read Daniel Pink’s “Drive” or the research of Edward Deci and Dan Ariely on motivation. What teachers need is not threats but support, encouragement, and the resources to do their job.