Search results for: "merryl tisch"

Merryl Tisch is stepping down as Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, ending a 20-year tenure on the board. The New York Times interviewed her about her time in office.


Tisch led the state’s effort to win Race to the Top funding. The state received $700 million, promising to increase charters, adopt the Common Core, create a longitudinal database for students, and evaluate teachers by test scores.


She promoted high-stakes testing, test-based teacher evaluation, charter schools, and everything expected by Race to the Top. And she didn’t just comply, she truly believes that testing, Common Core, and accountability will increase equity and reduce achievement gaps. She did it for the kids.


“She tried to do too much, too fast.

“That is Merryl H. Tisch’s appraisal of her tenure as chancellor of the Board of Regents, the top education post in New York State, as she prepares to step down at the end of the month.

“Her critics say the same thing.

“A champion of the Common Core learning standards, Dr. Tisch, 60, pushed for the creation of new, harder tests based on those standards and for teacher evaluations tied to students’ performance on the exams.


“That set off a backlash in which a fifth of the eligible students sat out the state’s third- through eighth-grade reading and math tests last spring. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, once her ally on using test scores in teacher evaluations, did an about-face….


““If anything, I fault myself for being ambitious for every child,” she said.”



David Bloomfield, professor of educational leadership, law, and policy at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, writes that it is time for Merryl Tisch, the chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, to step down and make way for new leadership.

Tisch was appointed to the Board of Regents on April 1, 1996 — almost 20 years ago. She became chancellor in 2009.

“Upon taking the Regents helm, Tisch promised, “We will embrace innovation with a data-driven approach . . . to raise test scores, raise graduation rates, and finally close the achievement gap.”

“By her own measures — and she’s had plenty of time to prove the wisdom of her approach — Tisch has fallen far short. Last month, statewide test scores showed a mere 31.3% of students proficient in English Language Arts and 38.1% in math on the tough, relatively new Common Core-aligned tests.

“In June 2012, Tisch bemoaned that “nearly a quarter of our students still don’t graduate after four years.” That is still the case. For students taking up to five years to complete high school, the 2010 graduation rate stood at 77%. Today it is 76.4%.

“Meantime, the achievement gap persists. Four-year graduation rates for 2010 and 2014 — one of the best apples-to-apples indicators we have — show exactly the same 25 percentage point difference between black and Hispanic students compared to white students…..

“Less appreciated, but perhaps more important, Tisch’s unsuccessful focus on standards and testing has distracted the department from another major function, district oversight. The crisis in East Ramapo — where the school board has long plundered district funds to provide services to students attending yeshivas — is only beginning to be met with effective action.”

Districts failed to meet state requirements for helping English language learners and immigrant children. The Regents didn’t crack down. In Néw York City, Bloomfield writes, “state requirements for school librarians, physical education and more have been ignored. Of greatest consequence, the rampant racial and income segregation of the state’s schools has been met with mere lip service from the person who should be New York’s leading voice and change agent on the issue…..

“Tisch vehemently believes that poor performance should lead to firings and school closures.”

Tisch insists that failure should not be allowed to comtinue.

Bloomfield writes:

“It is time for Tisch to take the medicine she has advised for others.” Leave, resign, go. Why allow failure to continue?

Celia Oyler is a teacher educator at Teachers College, Columbia University.

In this post, she explains that the Chancellor of the Néw York Board of Regents, Merryl Tisch, does not understand how the teacher evaluation plan she snd 10 other Regents just approved works.

Tisch thinks she solved the problem of VAM mistakes by permitting teachers like Sheri Lederman to appeal ratings that are clearly wrong.

Oyler says that Sheri Lederman’s rating, egregiously wrong, was not an “aberration.” The whole system is flawed.

“What is extremely important for all New York State educators and families to understand is that the Chancellor of the Board of Regents does not understand a very basic aspect of a policy she has foisted upon us.”

Peter Greene watched “All in with Chris Hayes,” in which Merryl Tisch and I discussed and disagreed about the value of the Common Core tests. The reason for the debate was the reports of large numbers of parents opting out their children.

Tisch, whom I have known for many years, is Chancellor of the Néw York State Regents. She defended the testing as necessary and helpful.

Peter Greene analyzed her changing rationales about why the tests are valuable.

She believes they help the neediest children, but of course these are precisely the children likeliest to fail. I don’t see how children gain motivation by failing a test that has been designed to fail 70% of all students.

She thinks that the opt outs are a “labor dispute” between the Governor and the teachers’ union. Unfortunately I did not have a chance to respond that parents do not act at the union’s command. They act in the best interests of their child.

Merryl Tisch is an intelligent woman, and I look forward to having a conversation with her, off-camera.

Merryl Tisch is the Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents. She has been a Regent for 20 years. She is a strong supporter of high-stakes testing. In this article, she criticizes those who opt out and who encourage others to opt out. She says they are hurting the kids who need help the most. She thinks the schools would neglect the neediest children if they were not tested every year. Since no high-performing nation tests every child every year, they must be overlooking their neediest children.


She writes:


“It used to be easy to ignore the most vulnerable students. Without assessments, it was easy to ignore the achievement gap for African-American and Latino students. Without an objective measure of their progress, it was easy to deny special education students and English Language Learners the extra resources they need. Obviously we still need to do more for those students, but now is not the time to put blinders back on.


“Without a comparable measure of student achievement, we risk losing track of the progress of all of our students in all of our schools. This risk applies not only to students of color, urban and rural students, and students with special learning needs. Many students from affluent districts do not make the year-to-year progress necessary in today’s world and need early support to get back on track. It’s far better to find that out while they’re still in the classroom than wait until they’re out of school and faced with real world challenges in college or the work place without the skills they need to overcome those challenges.”


One would think after a dozen years of high-stakes testing that there might be evidence that the children she names have benefitted, that poverty has decreased, but she fails to mention any evidence of the benefits of high-stakes testing.


Celia Oyler, a faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University, read Chancellor Tisch’s letter and drew different conclusions. She wrote the following comment to The Hechinger Report, where Tisch’s article appeared:


Professor Celia Oyler wrote:


“Very few parents would be refusing the New York State Pearson tests if they were decent measures of learning. And if they were decent measures of learning from year to year there would be no Teachers of Conscience movement of teachers who are refusing to administer the high stakes tests. There are so many flaws with what Chancellor Tisch and Commissioner King have done:


“(1) These tests are not measures of what an individual student has learned from year to year: they are not vertically aligned. State Ed has created what they call growth scores, but calling something by a name does not make it real. In fact, these scores do not measure growth from year to year, but measure the score on the test one year and the score on a different test the next year.


“(2) The NYS tests are too blunt to measure learning of the students Chancellor Tisch proclaims to care most about: the children who do not do well on standardized measures (whether due to horrible stresses that often accompany poverty and affect learning, or from a print or language or intellectual disability, or because they are learning English as an additional language). And we also know from numerous adequately designed studies that a teacher accounts for only about 10-15% of test score variance on any child: to hold one teacher 50% responsible for a single test score is scientifically unjustifiable. And doing so damages the chances for such children to receive the education they need. Children who struggle with school tasks do not need more test prep curriculum (which is what they are mostly getting — get out to schools more, Chancellor Tisch!), they need more rich, integrated, experiential, three-dimensional learning that is organized around meaning and not memorization. Punishing children, their schools, and their teachers for poor scores on poor tests is not the way to promote the rich learning environments they desperately need.


“(3) The misuse of so called Value Added Models or Measures takes lousy tests and then puts them through a formula not even designed to measure one teacher’s influence on the score from year to year: VAMs have greatest reliability when used on groups of teachers across multiple years. To make matters worse, most all researchers continually agree that a teacher accounts for about 10-15% of any standardized score variance. So teachers in NYS are punished by giving them a score that was not even designed to measure what Chancellor Tisch has made it measure. Study after study after study demonstrates that VAM has confidence intervals of as much as 60%! This is utterly insane and has enraged educators who understand what is being done to them.


“(4) Chancellor Tisch has just announced that some districts and schools should be exempt from this high stakes bad math folly that she and her cronies have wrought upon the children and teachers of New York State. This is an abomination. We have decades of research demonstrating the link between wealth and standardized test scores. Yes, there are exceptions: we have schools where children from low-income schools have learned to do well on a high stakes test. We need to learn more from these anomalies. But even within the anomalies researchers continually find that doing well on one high stakes test does not transfer to other high stakes tests. This means that students can be taught how to do well on a high stakes test. It does not mean they are learning content, concepts, and skills of value, that transfer. This raises the question: Do we want learning, or do we want achievement test scores?


“It is apparent to many parents who are refusing the tests, and to many teachers who are taking up activism against these brutal educational “reforms,” that Chancellor Tisch and her ilk care way more about a reductive number on a spreadsheet than they care about real learning and about actually improving the possibilities for the most marginalized children in our society. New York State teachers and children deserve support and assistance, particularly in economically distressed communities. Tisch and her millionaire friends can do much better than punish us all with their willful ignorance.”


Celia Oyler, PhD
Box 31 Teachers College
525 W. 120th Street, NY, NY, 10027
office phone: 212.678.3696
office location: 312 Zankel Hall

Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, has proposed that high-performing districts be exempted from the harsh and punitive teacher evaluation program proposed by Governor Cuomo and passed by the Legislature. This would create a two-track system: one for affluent districts, the other for the less fortunate.

Behind the proposal, I suspect, is a strong desire to defang the Opt Out movement. Divide and conquer. Mollify the angry suburban moms and saddle everyone else with a harmful regime.

Daniel Katz predicts that Tisch’s proposal would destroy the careers of large numbers of black and Hispanic teachers. The plan will devastate many teachers, wherever it is fully implemented. Why focus the harm on the poorest districts?

This just in:


More Information Contact:
Eric Mihelbergel (716) 553-1123;
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190;
New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE)

NYS 3rd Grade Test Invalid, Chancellor Merryl Tisch & Education Commissioner John King Must Resign

The leaders of the New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), a coalition of more than 45 parent and educator groups from throughout the state, are calling for the NYS 3rd Grade math test to be deemed invalid, since many questions were missing today from one of the four forms. This week, once again, parents are reminded of the grossly inappropriate practice of subjecting 8 and 9 year olds to 6 to 12 hours of testing over the course of six days. In light of the high stakes attached to these tests for children, schools and teachers, an error of this magnitude calls NYSED’s leadership and relationship with Pearson into serious question. This is yet another major misstep by our Commissioner of Education and the Board of Regents who oversee NYSED.

Commissioner King and the Board of Regents have been criticized extensively for not listening to parents or educators on the need to revamp the Common Core standards, lessen the focus on testing, and to cease and desist from thrusting one-size-fits-all statewide curriculum on local schools. And despite repeated issues with its testing vendor, NYSED has failed to take meaningful action, ignoring criticism from all corners of the state.

After repeatedly witnessing NYSED and the Board of Regents leadership fail to act within their authority, New York State Allies for Public Education now calls for the termination of Commissioner John King and the resignation of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch. The concerns of parents and educators throughout New York State have been casually dismissed at the detriment of their children for far too long.

“This comedy of errors has gone on too long. From the overly long, obscure and confusing ELA exams, with commercial product placements, and now with missing questions from the math exam, it is clear that the educrats at NYSED who have flunked, not our children,” said Chris Cerrone, Springville parent, Western New York Educator and founding NYSAPE member.
“While NYSED is eager to impose high-stakes on our schools and our teachers, where’s the accountability for them?” asked Jeanette Deutermann, North Bellmore public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out, “We need to stop the excessive testing and test prep, with defective modules and exams, and get back to educating our children once again.”

“Even as Louis CK has brought attention to the inherently flawed nature of the Common Core test prep materials this week, parents throughout the state are opting out their children in even larger numbers. In our school district, more than 48% refused to take the math tests. But it is unfair to all children and teachers to be assessed and compared with others through an invalid exam with missing questions. Enough is enough! John King and Merryl Tisch, resign!” said Stacey Serdy, Worcester Central School District parent and founder of Worcester Community for Education.

Jersey Jazzman read Merryl Tisch’s comments about how she understood test anxiety. He wondered how she might identify with such feelings because she never attended a school with high-stakes. Nor did her children.

In a surprise announcement, Merryl Tisch announced that she will not stand for re-election next spring. She has served as a member of the state Board of Regents since 1996.

Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, denounced Governor Andrew Cuomo’s education policymaking via the budget process. Under the New York State Constitution, the Regents are in charge of education policy. That is their role. But last spring, Governor Cuomo imposed a new teacher evaluation plan as part of the state budget.

State Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch Monday spoke out Monday against the new teacher evaluation system backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying she doesn’t think education policy should be written into legislation or be part of the budget process.

“Our forefathers and mothers were very clever in how they designed the system in New York State, creating a state policy board that was separate from the executive branch,” Tisch told hundreds of school board members, educators and advocates at a panel discussion at annual New York State School Boards Association conference in Manhattan.

“I think now it’s going to be really hard to convince a lot of people who are up for election to go in and reopen the law that they really would kind of like to put behind them,” she said.