Governor Andrew Cuomo during a news conference at Cornwell Avenue...

Governor Andrew Cuomo during a news conference at Cornwell Avenue School in West Hempstead. (Dec. 12, 2011) Credit: Alejandra Villa

ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has said pension reform, relief from government mandates and state agency consolidation will be among his priorities for 2012.

But it's also clear, from a year-end interview, that the first-term Democrat wants to take a hard look at school governance.

Asked what surprises he encountered upon taking office, Cuomo didn't hesitate before saying, "The need for reform in education is much more striking to me," adding that he's troubled by "the lack of performance evaluation-management strategies on the school system.

"The greatest challenge is going to be reforming the education system in this state," Cuomo said. "It's probably the most complicated, intractable issue I've come across."

The governor didn't hint at any proposals. Education policy is largely controlled by the state Board of Regents, with the governor and legislators controlling the purse strings.

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