Jake Jacobs, an art teacher in New York, commends Cynthia Nixon for calling for the repeal of New York State’s teacher evaluation law, which was imposed to comply with Race to the Top. After Nixon spoke out, the State Assembly cobbled together a pretend repeal of the law, which does not actually change anything since districts will still be required to use a test, but only a test approved by the state commissioner. Critics of the bill fear it will double the amount of testing by adding local tests to state tests.

At lest, Nixon had the courage to call for a flat out repeal of a useless and ineffective method of evaluating teachers.

Consider how Jake Jacobs is evaluated.

“Where I teach, we have two days of federally mandated math tests, two days of English Language Arts tests, and two days of Science tests for 8th graders. Then, because of the Annual Professional Performance Review policy, we have state requirements for two more math tests, two more English Language Arts tests, two more Science tests, two Social Studies tests, plus two language tests for English learners (even though they also take the English Language Arts tests). Some schools are required to do mandated “field testing” in June as well.

“From the start, Cuomo’s performance review policy was gamed from every direction.

“As an art teacher, I was stunned at the absurdity of the Annual Professional Performance Review “group measures,” which since 2013 made me choose math or English Language Arts scores for my evaluation. In 2015, I reported on the “ineffective” rating attributed to me because of low math scores, even though I don’t teach math, and I was teaching in an alternative school that only enrolled high need students, and I never even met some of the children whose test scores were used. Last year the city even debuted standardized Art tests for eighth grade—but hardly any schools participated.

“In 2015, Sheri Lederman, a fourth-grade teacher and accomplished professional at the top of her game, challenged her rating in a New York State Supreme Court, which later determined that the process for her evaluation was “arbitrary and capricious.”

“If the point of Annual Professional Performance Review was to create a horrible, wasteful evaluation policy and then make teachers bargain for relief, it worked well.

“Cuomo boasted in 2014 that his teacher evaluation system would be his single most enduring legacy.”

This is the height of absurdity!