Archives for category: Teacher Evaluations

Catalyst reports that the teacher evaluation ratings for the public schools contained errors.

“Citing a computer coding error, district officials have acknowledged that they miscalculated last year’s REACH performance task scores for one out of every five educators.

“Only a tiny fraction of the 4,574 errors were significant enough to result in ratings changes, however. A total of 166 teachers were given corrected ratings earlier this year, and most moved up a category, CPS officials say. Teachers whose ratings dropped won’t be penalized.

“The coding error involved matching student rosters with scores on performance tasks, the subject- and grade-specific assessments that were developed by committees of CPS teachers.

“Though the problem was not extensive, the number of mistakes – and the possibility that there are still others – has renewed criticisms about the use of such a complex system to evaluate educators and put jobs on the line.”

This comment was posted on the blog. Please forward to Governor Andrew Cuomo. “governorcuomo@exec.ny.gov”

 

 

 

Though I have loved teaching and have always felt it was what I was destined to do, I no longer wake up motivated, excited, and eager to start a
new day. I cannot begin to tell you how the “Race to the Top”
and “No Child Left Behind” has undermined our profession
and has taken away our professional autonomy. I am sick and tired of
educational elitists like Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, John King, and
our own elected officials, pointing their fingers at the teachers for
what is wrong in education. We are not what is wrong. Yes, there are
exceptions in any profession, even in politics, but most of us are
hard-working, dedicated, intelligent professionals.
Here I am, yet again, unable to sleep because I know I have today’s
responsibilities on my mind. I’m at the tail end of my career, but I
still care enough to be up at 2 am. to prepare for my teaching day.
One only needs to look at Finland to find out how to better improve
education. They have it right. High stakes testing and targeting
teachers is not what they do. They value and respect their teachers.
How about taking a look at how all of the externals affect students’
performance, like the poverty level and students’ behaviors? How
about improving discipline in school? How about making the students
accountable for their learning? Students are more than aware
that if they don’t do well, the teacher will be held accountable for
their lack of progress. The teacher will have to get more
training, not them. How about encouraging more parental involvement
outside of school? I am the teacher from 8-3. The parents are the
teachers the rest of the time. I cannot do it all. My parents spent a
great deal of time with me after school hours helping me learn what I
might have not learned well enough in school and felt it was their
responsibility to do so. I am lucky enough to work in a district
where there is a high level of parental involvement, but I have heard
story after story from colleagues in other districts who do not have
that level support and are treated very disrespectfully.
I just finished my formal observation lesson plan whose format was the
equivalent of a college term paper, as I tried to make sure I linked,
and cross-referenced, the NYS Core Curriculum Standards and the
Danielson rubrics to each part of it. It took me seven hours to
write one lesson plan. Is this really necessary? I have letter after
letter from parents appreciating my teaching abilities. Yet I have
to prove day after day to others that I am good at what I do.
I have a partial solution to the observation expectations. Do you want
to see if I’m doing a good job? Just put a camera in my classroom,
and watch me all day long. Watch me as I differentiate instruction
for the multiple levels of academic needs in my inclusion classroom.
Watch me as I dance, sing, smile, and try to inject humor into my
lessons so the children are not leaving school as defeated and
demoralized as we teachers are. Watch me as I hug the children who
are on the verge of tears because they are overwhelmed, tired, and
frustrated because what we are teaching is not developmentally
appropriate for most of our seven and eight year olds. Watch me as I
try to hold it together, mentally and physically, when I am
functioning on interrupted sleep, often waking up at two and three
am. thinking about how my day can unfold seamlessly, and perfectly,
in case I have an unannounced, evaluated walk-through.
In what other profession does one have to be perfectly “ON” all
day long? We are not automatons. We are human beings. But then, I
remind myself that these evaluations make no difference, really.
After all, our own governor has told us that we have far too many
effective and highly effective teachers, and we just cannot have that
happen again this year. Can you imagine that? Yes. Governor Cuomo
has made it abundantly clear to us that this CANNOT and WILL NOT
happen this year. So, I remind myself not to worry. After all, I’m
just one of the bunch. I’m ORDINARY or, perhaps worse, developing or even inept. Imagine if I started my school year telling my students that? “Boys and girls, we had too many top students last year.” “That doesn’t make sense.”
“There shouldn’t be so many high scoring students.” “So, just
know that there cannot be as many this year.” “Do you
understand, boys and girls?” What’s the message here? Where’s the
motivation to excel?
I have two years left to go. I don’t know if I’ll make it intact. It’s
a shame that I have to leave my profession feeling this frustrated
and disappointed. Yet, I try to go in everyday with a smile. We do
because we know these 6, 7, and 8 year old youngsters deserve to have
us at our best. Speaking of deserving, I’d have to say I deserve the
teacher’s version of the Academy Award for best classroom actress. We
teachers are all actors and actresses everyday when we go in feeling
tired, defeated, and miserable while making every effort to infuse
our classrooms with the joy of learning.
Then there is the standardized testing component. Students are being
tested on material that has not been taught because what is being tested is not in our curriculum. And, if they are unable to answer those questions, we teachers may be deemed “developing” or even worse, “ineffective”. Understanding that thousands, and perhaps even millions of dollars, has been spent on purchasing these tests and the companion on-line test prep
programs, I doubt if school districts, nor the state, will be willing
to listen to the public and end this lunacy. Imagine the money that
has been wasted when it would’ve been better spent positively and
proactively on inspirational, motivational professional
development workshops, teaching materials and supplies, improving the
physical workspace, and building self-esteem. By the way, self-esteem comes from being successful. It certainly does not evolve in a punitive atmosphere in which highly experienced, hard-working teachers’ actions, decisions, lessons, and motivations are continuously questioned and dissected. Where is the trust? Do I feel valued, appreciated and protected? No, I do not.
Our cultural, governmental, economic, academic, and educational
institutions each need a miraculous rebirth and reincarnation. Who is
courageous enough to take a stand and lead us to a morally and ethically
higher ground? Oh, and before our politicians started pointing their fingers at us, they might have better served themselves by fixing their own profession. Imagine if they held themselves to the same level of rigor and performance outcomes?

 

 

A Very Frustrated, Highly Experienced NYS Teacher

In this interview with Peter Cunningham, EduShyster gains his insights into the current thinking of the billionaire reformers.

 

Peter Cunningham was Arne Duncan’s communications director during Duncan’s first term. In Washington, he was known as “Arne’s Brain.” He is smart, charming, and well-spoken. So far as I know, he was never a teacher, but that is not a qualification these days for holding strong views about fixing the public schools. Cunningham is now back in Chicago. He started a blog called “Education Post,” which was funded with $12 million from the Broad Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and an anonymous philanthropy. Its goal, proclaimed at the outset, was to introduce a more civil tone into education debates and to advance certain ideas: “K-12 academic standards, high-quality charter schools, and how best to hold teachers and schools accountable for educating students.” Translated, that means it supports Common Core standards, charter schools, and high-stakes testing for teachers, as well as school closings based on testing.

 

You might say it is on the other side of almost every issue covered in this blog, as Ed Post praises “no-excuses” charter schools, standardized testing, Teach for America, and other corporate-style reforms.

 

EduShyster asked Cunningham if he feels the blog is succeeding, and he cites Nicholas Kristof’s recent column–admitting the failure of most reform efforts and the need to focus on early childhood programs–as an example of progress. When she pressed him about his “metrics” for “betterness,” he replies:

 

Cunningham: I think that an awful lot of people on the reform side of the fence are thrilled by what we’re doing. They really feel like *thank God somebody is standing up for us when we get attacked* and *thank God somebody is willing to call out people when they say things that are obviously false or that we think are false.* When I was asked to create this organization—it wasn’t my idea; I was initially approached by Broad—it was specifically because a lot of reform leaders felt like they were being piled on and that no one would come to their defense. They said somebody just needs to help right the ship here. There was a broad feeling that the anti-reform community was very effective at piling on and that no one was organizing that on our side. There was unequivocally a call to create a community of voices that would rise to the defense of people pushing reform who felt like they were isolated and alone.

 

EduShyster: That expression you see on my face is incredulity. But please go on sir. I want to hear more about the isolation and alone-ness of people pushing reform. How they are faring today?

 

Cunningham: Take Kevin Huffman. Now you can disagree with him on policy, but he felt like people were waking up everyday and just attacking him on social media. He tried to respond, and he just felt like it didn’t matter. By 2012-2013, Team Status Quo—your label not mine—was very effectively calling a lot of reform ideas into question. I mean look around the country. Huffman’s gone, John King is gone, John Deasy is gone, Michelle Rhee is gone. I’ve created the ability to swarm, because everyone felt like they were being swarmed. We now have people who will, when asked, lean in on the debate, when people feel like they’re just under siege.

 

There is much in this interview that is fascinating, but most interesting to me is that the billionaires, who have unlimited resources were “feeling isolated and alone.” They felt they were “being piled on and that no one would come to their defense.” They needed to hire bloggers to defend them.

 

This is indicative, I think, of the fact that social media is very powerful, and those who oppose the “reformers” own social media. The pro-public education voices are in the millions–millions of teachers, principals, parents, and students. The billionaire reformers hire thousands. Whether you consider the more than 200 bloggers who are part of the Education Bloggers Network, which advocates for public education, or consider Twitter and Facebook, the critics of billionaire-backed reform and privatization are many, are outspoken, and command a huge forum. No wonder the billionaires are feeling lonely and isolated. They can create astroturf organizations like StudentsFirst, Education Reform Now, 50CAN, TeachPlus, Educators4Excellence, and dozens more groups, but it is typically the same people running a small number of organizations and issuing press releases.

 

Is it time to feel sorry for the billionaires?

 

Be sure to read the comments that follow the interview.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a curious turn of events. Just as the federal government is forcing schools across the nation to evaluate and rank teachers using dubious metrics, corporations are beginning to back away from simplistic performance measures. The change reflects the philosophy of business guru W. Edwards Deming, who staunchly opposed merit pay and rankings, on grounds that they demoralized employees and made for a less efficient workplace.

This article appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

The Trouble With Grading Employees

Performance ratings such as ‘meets expectations’ sap workers’ morale,
but firms aren’t sure they can do without them

Can a year’s worth of work be boiled down to a stock phrase like
“meets expectations”?

As companies reinvent management by slashing layers of hierarchy or
freeing workers to set their own schedules, performance ratings—which
grade workers on a 1-5 scale or with labels like “on
target”—stubbornly hang on. Companies like Gap Inc.,Adobe Systems
Inc.and Microsoft Corp. abolished such ratings after leaders decided
they deterred collaboration and stoked staffers’ anxieties. Yet other
companies are having a harder time letting go.

Intel Corp. has long rated and ranked its approximately 105,000
workers on a four-level scale, from “outstanding” to “improvement
required.” Devra Johnson, a human-resources director at the chip
maker, observed that ratings tended to deflate morale in a good chunk
of the 70% of the company’s workforce that receives a “successful”
rating each year—the second-lowest label.

“We’d call them the walking wounded,” she said.

Human-resources managers conducted an experiment to test a new way of
managing performance, allowing 1,700 workers in the HR department to
go unrated, although not without feedback, for about two years,
according to Ms. Johnson.

Managers found they could still differentiate performance and
distribute compensation. However, when Ms. Johnson’s team presented
its findings, company executives weren’t ready to give the labels up,
concerned that forgoing ratings would suck healthy tension out of the
workplace, she said. So the HR department started rating the employees
in the experiment again….

Marc Farrugia, the vice president for human resources at Sun
Communities Inc., is going through the “exhausting” process of
revamping performance management at the owner and operator of
manufactured housing communities. He’s concerned about the accuracy of
the company’s current approach to ratings; some managers just dole out
higher scores in order to maximize bonuses for employees they’re
scared might leave; others give everyone average ratings because it is
easy. Workers complain the ratings aren’t fair and don’t paint a true
picture of their annual performance.

“I’m being more and more convinced that ratings are doing more harm
than good,” Mr. Farrugia said….

Some executives worry that figuring performance measures, such as the
time it takes for restaurant workers to take an order, into reviews
might lack context.

“I have a real love-hate relationship with data,” said Kevin Reddy,the
CEO of fast-casual restaurant chain Noodles & Co. “You can get a false
sense of security if you zero in too closely on a rating system.”

The company moved away from numeric ratings about seven years ago but
still places workers into broad categories like “meets expectations.”
Mr. Reddy said he and his leadership team continue to question whether
they’re doing feedback right and motivating employees.

Jean Martin, a director at research and advisory firm Corporate
Executive Board who works with companies on performance management
systems, said executives are “giving the numbers too much power” by
endlessly debating their worth. An analysis of 30,000 employees by her
organization shows ratings don’t have a direct impact on performance,
she said.

Others say they have evidence showing that workers contribute less
after receiving a poor rating. David Rock, the director of the
NeuroLeadership Institute, a research firm that applies neuroscience
to the workplace, said ratings conjure a “threat response” in workers,
or “a sensation of danger,” especially if they don’t get the number
they expect. And the hangover from a bad rating can last for months,
Dr. Rock said….

Companies that have gotten rid of ratings say their employees feel
better about their jobs, and actually listen to managers’ feedback
instead of obsessing over a number. John Ritchie, a Microsoft
human-resources executive who goes by “J,” said the technology
company’s practice of rating and ranking employees discouraged
risk-taking and collaboration; since discontinuing the practice in
late 2013, teamwork is up, he said.

The internal change mirrors the shift CEO Satya Nadella is working to
effect externally, charming and collaborating with startups and
venture-capital firms so that Microsoft doesn’t get left behind in the
increasingly heterogeneous world of technology.

“We needed to change and everybody knew it,” Mr. Ritchie said of the
new performance management system.

The Gap’s new approach dumps ratings in favor of monthly coaching
sessions and frequent employee-manager conversations. But HR
executives had to convince leaders that the move wasn’t
“sacrilegious,” according to Eric Severson, the company’s co-head of
human resources.

Holly Bonds, a 17-year veteran of the company, said it was strange at
first; she was used to scanning her review for her rating and bonus
number. She now talks more frequently with her manager, so she has a
better idea of where she stands, a process that she’s found less
stressful than worrying about her rating.

“I haven’t missed it,” she said.

Write to Rachel Feintzeig at rachel.feintzeig@wsj.com

New York State education officials released data showing that the top-rated teachers, based on student test scores, are less likely to work in schools enrolling black and Hispanic students.

Did State Education Department officials read the VAM reports showing that VAM is statistically flawed as a measure of individual teachers? Are they aware that less than 20% of black and Hispanic students met the absurd passing mark on the state’s Common Core test for the past two years? Are they aware that test-based accountability discourages teachers from working in high-needs schools? Interesting that the article cites the leader of Michelle Rhee’s organization, TNTP (the Néw Teacher Project), whose goal is to replace experienced teachers with new hires. At the rate these so-called reforms are accepted as credible (despite evidence to the contrary), TNTP will be able to place millions of new hires.

Andrew Cuomo can put one notch on his belt. Carol Burris is stepping down. He better have a very big belt because his hatred for teachers eill drive out many from the profession. who will replace? Does he care? The much-honored principal of South Side High School in Rockville Center decided to retire early because of Cuomo’s punitive law. Morally and ethically, she could not continue to work in the environment he has created.

She said:

“We are now turning our backs on the very experiences that build on our children’s natural strengths in order to pursue higher test scores in this era of corporate reform. We have become blind to indicators of quality that can’t be demonstrated on a scan sheet.

“The opinions of billionaires and millionaires who send their own children to private schools awash in the arts hold more sway than those of us who have dedicated our lives to teaching children. In the words of our chancellor [Merryl Tisch], we who object are “noise.”

“Much to the dismay of Albany, the noise level is on the rise since the passage of a new teacher evaluation system that elevates the role of testing. I am not sure why I was shocked when the legislature actually adopted the nonsensical evaluation plan designed by a governor who is determined to break the spirit of teachers, but I was. What is even more shocking is the legislature’s refusal to admit what they did, which was to create a system in which 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation is based on test scores. Whether that denial comes from ignorance or willful deceit doesn’t matter. It is inexcusable.

“What will happen to our profession is not hard to predict. Since the state has generated student “growth” scores, the scores of 7 percent of all elementary and middle school principals are labeled ineffective. Likewise, 6-7 percent of Grades 4-8 teachers of English Language Arts and math received ineffective growth scores. That is because the metrics of the system produce a curve.

“Based on the law, we know before even one test is given that at least 7 percent of teachers and principals, regardless of their supervisors’ opinion, will need to be on an improvement plan. They will be labeled either developing or ineffective. We have no idea what growth scores for high school teachers and teachers of the arts will look like — that has been, in the words of Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, “punted” to a State Education Department. Yes, they [state lawmakers] have turned the football over to the folks whom they publicly berate for the botched rollout of the Common Core.

“Well, the legislature has woken a sleeping giant. Around the state today parents are saying “no more.” The robust opt-out movement, which began on Long Island, has now spread across rural and suburban areas in upstate New York as well. Over 75 percent of the students in Allendale Elementary School in West Seneca refused the Common Core tests today. In the Dolgeville district, the number is 88 percent. Over 70 percent of the students in the Icabod Crane Elementary and Middle School refused. On Long Island, 82 percent of Comsewogue students, 68 percent of Patchogue Medford students and 61 percent of Rockville Centre students opted out of the tests. And that is but a sample.

“This is happening because the bond between students and teachers is understood and valued by the parents we serve. They have no stomach for the inevitable increased pressures of testing. Through opt out, they are speaking loud and clear.”

“She is not going away. She was already a leader in the battle against corporate reform. She has written many posts for Valerie Strauss’s “Answer Sheet” blog at the Washington Post. She will write more. Now she is joining the fight to save children and public education from corporate raiders full-time. Hers will be an experienced, wise voice in the fight for democratic public education.

The resounding success of the opt out movement in Néw York state prompted a state senator to introduce a bill to exempt the highest-performing districts from Governor Cuomo’s test-based teacher evaluation plan.

Presumably the advocates of the plan hope to take the steam out of the opt out movement. Divide and conquer. Apparently high-stakes will be for the middle class and the poor, not the affluent high-performing districts.

Call it segregated testing. None for the rich. Only for peons.

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, an attorney who represents public schools in education matters, including testing and special education—and is currently working to reform special education—posted this comment. Her website is http://www.schoollawpro.com.

 

Can we really use student tests to measure teacher effectiveness?

 

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, M.A., J.D.

 

This is the year! Tests related to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are launching across our country. They are designed to measure how well students are learning the CCSS. Meanwhile, some states, with federal encouragement, plan to use them also to measure teacher effectiveness. Is this use valid?

 

There is no shortage of controversy about educational testing and, unfortunately, this controversy includes the opportunity to file lawsuits. The use of student achievement data to also evaluate teacher effectiveness is certainly controversial. Notably, Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, gave states a year’s reprieve on implementing this practice. Across the country, teacher unions have called it unfair. My concern is far more basic. It’s about validity.

 

As an attorney who has represented public schools for more than 30 years, I am concerned about this multipurpose use. It may not get us what we need—a valid, reliable, fair, trusted, and transparent accountability system. The tests at issue include the PARCC and SBAC, two multi-state consortia that are funded by the U. S. Department of Education and private funders. They were charged with developing an assessment system aligned to the CCSS by the 2014-15 school year.

 

At last count, these consortia have 27 states and the District of Columbia signed up— affecting 42% of U.S. students according to Education Week.
The media remind us constantly that our ‘failing’ schools need fixing; that, to do so, we should assess student skills and knowledge to help teachers improve instruction; that we also need to evaluate and rate teachers and weed out poor performers. And we are told that these tests can be multipurposed to do all of the above!

 

Sounds good? Actually, it sounds too good to be true. Does this multipurpose use to evaluate teacher effectiveness clear a key psychometric hurdle: test validity?

 

What is test validity?

 

At its core, it is the basic, bedrock requirement that a test measure what it is designed to measure. Thus, if a test is designed to measure how well 3rd graders decode, we judge the test according to how well it does that. Can students decode? If it is designed to be predictive; say, to measure if students are ‘on track’ or progressing toward college or career-readiness, we judge it accordingly. Either way, we must ask if a test whose purpose is to measure what students learn or whether they are ‘on track’ can also be used to measure something else—such as how well teachers teach?

 

So what are these tests’ purposes? For answers, let’s review the PARCC and SBAC websites. First PARCC, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers:

 

PARCC is a group of states working together to develop a set of assessments that measure whether students are on track to be successful in college and their careers. These high quality, computer-based K–12 assessments in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy give teachers, schools, students, and parents better information whether students are on track in their learning and for success after high school, and tools to help teachers customize learning to meet student needs.

 

PARCC is based on the core belief that assessment should work as a tool for enhancing teaching and learning. Because the assessments are aligned with the new, more rigorous Common Core State Standards, they ensure that every child is on a path to college and career readiness by measuring what students should know at each grade level. They will also provide parents and teachers with timely information to identify students who may be falling behind and need extra help. [Emphasis added]

 

Second, the SBAC, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium:

 

The [SBAC] is a state-led consortium working to develop next-generation assessments that accurately measure student progress toward college- and career-readiness. Smarter Balanced is one of two multistate consortia awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education in 2010 to develop an assessment system aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)by the 2014-15 school year.

 

The work of Smarter Balanced is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help students succeed – regardless of disability, language or subgroup.

 

Smarter Balanced involves experienced educators, researchers, state and local policymakers and community groups working together in a transparent and consensus-driven process. [Emphasis added]

 

Clearly, these tests’ purpose is to (a) measure student progress on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and college or career readiness, (b) give teachers and parents better information about students, and (c) help improve instruction. No mention is made of gauging teacher effectiveness.

 

Yet, questions about the validity of using these tests in this multipurpose way seem to be missing from national discussions, even as other validity issues are raised. For example, questions are raised about score validity when tests are administered in different ways (on a computer or with paper and pencil) and at different times of the year.

 

Also discussed are questions about whether these tests are aligned to the CCSS. The media reports battles among states, unions, and others about how to measure teacher effectiveness through these tests; e.g., through value-added models, student growth percentages, or other approaches. But, questions of basic test validity from the get-go about this multipurpose use of these tests are not part of today’s public discourse.

 

They should be.

 

If we continue on this track of creating high stakes for teachers with tests designed for a different purpose, we may well end up with unintended consequences, including distrust of the system, questionable accountability, and lawsuits.

 

My suggestion? Given the reprieve for states and growing concern among the public about these tests and the CCSS themselves, test consortia and our federal and state governments should take a deep breath and do two things.

 

First, the consortia should remind the public that the purpose of these tests is to measure student achievement on the new CCSS and career and college readiness, provide better information to teachers and parents, and improve instruction.

 

Second, the states (with federal approval and encouragement) that intend to use these results also to evaluate teacher effectiveness must inform the public explicitly about how they intend to validate the tests for this new purpose. They need to provide solid proof that their proposed use, which differs from the stated purpose of these tests, is valid, reliable, and fair. The current silence is worrisome, not transparent, and unwise.

 

This test validity issue needs to be fully aired and resolved satisfactorily before we can begin to tackle the larger issues about the multiple uses of testing. Otherwise, in our litigious land of opportunity, the ensuing battles may be costly and not pretty. Let’s not go there.

Patricia Fahy, a member of the Néw York State Assembly, tries to explain her vote on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget bill. The worst part of the budget, she knew, was his demand to make 50% of teachers’ evaluations dependent on test scores. If no budget passed, Cuomo could impose his plan by fiat. Democracy, anyone?

The Assembly got the Governor to agree to allow the state Board of Regents to make the final determination on teacher evaluation, although they still must rely on an “independent evaluator” (an unfunded mandate) and test scores. Fahy refers to the Regents as “education professionals.” That is true of some, not all, of the Regents.

Readers in Néw York, how many Regents are “education professionals,” people who have had careers in education? To the credit of the Assembly, they recently elected four new members who are education professionals. In the past, that has not been a requisite. (Several years ago, my name was suggested as a candidate for the Regents. I talked to elected officials in Brooklyn, and they encouraged me to meet with the Speaker of the Assembly, whose word was determinative. Accompanied by an elected official, I was interviewed by Speaker Sheldon Silver’s top assistant. After half an hour of questions, she told me I knew too much to be a Regent. Unbelievable but true.)

From Fahy’s article:

 

“In the final few days of the budget negotiations, the most contentious part was the teacher evaluations (APPR) linked with excessive testing – an issue which has been debated for the last three out of four years in the legislature. I had and continue to have serious misgivings about this final bill language and have been actively advocating to ensure the most flexible interpretation of the language along with amendments where needed. While the language was troubling and rushed, one positive was delegating the evaluation issue away from the legislature and the Governor to the Board of Regents, who are the appointed education professionals. Despite having strongly opposed some of the previous work of the Regents with regard to testing and implementation of the common core standards, we have a slate of new Regents, who have been given parameters to work within.

 

“We need to change the conversation about education. We can no longer look at the very people who can help our children – our teachers – as the scapegoats for problems in education. We can no longer continue to value a standardized test that is so flawed parents are more concerned about their children taking it than passing it. We can no longer focus on underperforming schools and expect the teachers and staff to correct every social ill of the community and society. The solution must be multi-pronged and go beyond the school doors.

 

“I understand the frustration and the concern, I share it, and have already reached out to the Regents and more to begin work to maximize flexibility and seek changes where needed. This omnibus bill was not an easy vote and our work does not end with this vote.”

When Governor Cuomo’s budget was passed by the Néw York State Senate, it included mandates for test-score based evaluation of teachers and other provisions that teachers found insulting. Here is the State Senate’s Wall of Shame and Wall of Fame, identifying those who voted for and against this anti-teacher legislation. I previously posted a similar chart for the New York Assembly. Save this list for the next election if you live in New York.

 

 

 

 

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