Archives for category: New York

The New York State Education Department released the test scores for 2016 and warned that they were not comparable to previous years due to significant changes in the tests, then proceeded to declare that the scores had grown substantially over the previous year.

The New York State Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE), which led the opt out movement, reported that the opt rates continued to be high and even increased. The students who opted out in the eighth grade were no longer part of the testing cohort, but new students took their places. Despite threats and blandishments, parents of more than 200,000 students said no to the tests.

Here is NYSAPE’s statement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2016

More information contact:

Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; nys.allies@gmail.com

Jeanette Deutermann (516) 902-9228; nys.allies@gmail.com

NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) http://www.nysape.org

NYSED Declares Scores Not Comparable, Opt Out Grows Across State

This past Friday afternoon, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) released the results of the 2016 NYS Common Core 3-8 ELA and math results. Despite expensive ad campaigns from Gates-funded advocacy groups and the distribution of “Anti Opt-out” toolkits by Commissioner Elia aimed at persuading parents to opt in to state tests, the test non-participation rate increased from 20 percent last year to 22 percent.

As Chris Cerrone, a school board member and NYSAPE member from Western NY said, “Given Commissioner Elia’s public relation blitz across the state and all the interviews she did with the media, as well as all the money spent by the pro-Common Core groups, the increase in opt out numbers indicates that parents remain very concerned about the low quality of these tests and the direction of education in our state.”

An increase in test refusals were seen across the state, including in large urban districts like Buffalo and New York City. In only 5 percent of districts statewide –38 out of 686 — was the test participation rate at or above 95 percent for ELA and math. If the current proposed Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) regulations are adopted, this would mean that the state would have to punish the vast majority of schools by giving them low grades or imposing aggressive intervention plans. (see chart below)

“Despite the relentless and well-funded PR push back we received in the city, more and more parents are becoming educated on just how harmful standardized testing is for their children. The increase in opt-out is a significant win for immigrant families, students with special needs and students from low income households. Our grassroots approach is resonating with parents seeking true equity in public education,” said Johanna Garcia, NYC parent and Co-President of District 6 President’s Council.

“Overall, these exams not only demonize our students and teachers, but the entire city of Rochester. I will not allow my child to take an exam that does not accurately reflect her progress. I’m not against testing, but I am against tests with no educational value,” Eileen Graham, Rochester parent of 4th grader and founder of Black Student Leadership.

Long Island districts again this year opted out in large numbers, some as high as 84%. Many other districts also experienced over 50% of student refusing to take the tests. (see chart below)

Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island public school parent, the founder of Long Island Opt Out and a member of NYSAPE said, “The opt out movement continues to expand despite the aggressive campaign to thwart our efforts and marginalize our voices. Parents demand nothing short of a complete overhaul to our excessive testing system, a ban on the mining of sensitive personal data, replacement of flawed Common Core with research-based standards, and a permanent decoupling of evaluations from test scores.”

Despite their own warning that this year’s test scores could not be compared to last year’s because the tests were shorter and untimed, NYSED still claimed that increases in this year’s ELA scores over last year’s scores justified their continuing to implement the Common Core standards and Common Core aligned exams. These contradictory statements undermine NYSED’s credibility.

The reality is that without a more careful analysis of the tests themselves, their length, and the impact of giving them untimed, it is impossible to ascertain if achievement increased, decreased, or stayed the same as last year. In addition, the fact that so few schools and districts had a 95% participation rate also undermines their reliability.

“The fact that 95% of school districts in NYS did not meet the federal and state participation requirements significantly weakens the reliability and validity of test scores for accountability purposes. How can Commissioner Elia claim that these scores are valid or show any improvement in achievement,” asked, Jessica McNair, Central NY public school parent, educator, and Opt Out CNY founder.

“There is little doubt that parents will continue to exercise their right to refuse harmful state tests and right now it is imperative that Commissioner Elia and the Board of Regents advocate for a revision in the proposed ESSA regulations, or else face having to intervene in most of the schools in the state,” said Marla Kilfoyle, Long Island public school parent, educator, and BATs Executive Director

“Parents were very concerned when MaryEllen Elia was named Commissioner, due to her links to the Gates Foundation in Florida. Skepticism was withheld to give her the benefit of the doubt while changes were discussed. However, her continued failure to address the concerns of parents have only further eroded confidence in her leadership and in the State Department of Education,” said Lisa Rudley, Westchester County public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE.

In response to increases in test refusal, Commissioner MaryEllen Elia attacked critics and claimed that parents refusing the state tests were unaware of “important” changes made to the tests. Bianca Tanis, Ulster County Public School parent and educator said, “The small changes and tweaks made by the NYS Education Department are simply not enough. Nothing has changed for the individual child and to suggest otherwise is just plain wrong.”

Said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters: “Between 2003 and 2009, the NY State Education Department engaged in rampant test score inflation, by making the tests and the scoring easier, without admitting this. After that, the bubble burst and the scores fell radically with the introduction of Common Core-aligned exams, when our Commissioner was intent on proving to parents their children and their schools were failing. I fear that state officials are still manipulating the scores for political ends. It is no wonder that New York parents do not trust these exams to give an accurate picture of their children’s learning.”

“NYSED must work more consistently with teachers, parents, and students, to create policy that supports whole child initiatives in every community. It’s tiresome to continue to sell our children and families short by engaging annually in narrow discussions about learning that only focus on ELA and mathematics, while continuing to neglect science, the arts, and civic engagement,” said Jamaal Bowman, Bronx public school educator and parent.

“Why would anyone support tests designed for over 60 percent of students to fail? If a teacher gave a test in her classroom where over 60 percent failed she would rightly question the validity of her test. This is insanity,” said Tim Farley, Hudson Valley principal and public school parent.

It is clear that the over-emphasis and misuse of test scores with questionable validity and no educational purpose continue to rob our public schools of valuable instructional time and resources. Until the leaders of public education in NYS begin to focus on closing the opportunity gap by addressing the inequitable resources in our schools and heed the demands of parents and educators for evidence-based and child-centered educational policies, the opt out movement will continue to grow.

2016 Test Refusal Analysis – Public School Districts

ELA Tests

2016

# of districts – less than 95% participation

648

% less than 95% participation

94%

# of districts – 95% or more participation

38

% 95% or more participation

6%

Math Tests

2016

# of districts – less than 95% participation

655

% less than 95% participation

95%

# of districts – 95% or more participation

31

% 95% or more participation

5%

Test Refusal increase from ELA to Math

2016

# of districts

582

% of districts

85%

Test Refusals by Percent Thresholds

% of Districts*

20% and over test refusals

72%

30% and over test refusals

48%

40% and over test refusals

30%

50% and over test refusals

19%

*Based on NYSED math test opt out figures

# of public school districts (includes big five): 686

NYSAPE is a grassroots coalition with over 50 parent and educator groups across the state.

You know how important it is to elect informed people to school boards and state legislatures and Congress. That’s the way we will save our public schools from the grasp of privatizers and defend our teachers from punitive laws that intrude on their ability to teach.

That is why I am happy to endorse Rachel Barnhart for the New York State Assembly, representing the 138th district in Rochester.

Rachel Barnhart grew up in Rochester. Her parents are retired Rochester City School District educators. Rachel’s parents were strong believers in public education, sending her to Rochester city schools. Rachel graduated from John Marshall High School and Cornell University.

Rachel worked as a television journalist in Rochester since 1999. Rachel’s reputation in the broadcasting industry is that she is one of the brightest and most insightful reporters in ferreting out corruption and finding the truth. She frequently reported on financial mismanagement in Rochester public schools, earning her the respect and admiration of many teachers. Rachel often blogged about growing concerns regarding Common Core, testing, school closures and teacher evaluations. She also used her blog and huge social media presence to talk about poverty and segregation.

As a reporter, Rachel challenged politicians, including Governor Andrew Cuomo. (The governor once called her a cynic when she questioned a big drop in the labor force.) She won’t be afraid to challenge Albany’s culture. She will represent citizens, not the governor, the speaker or special interests.

Rachel gave up her job to run for the Assembly. She will be a champion for public schools.

I urge you to support her, contribute to her campaign, and vote for her if you live in her district.

Despite threats and bribes, despite warnings and cajoling, the Great Opt Out Movement of New York maintained its momentum

About 22% of the eligible students in the state did not take the mandated tests.

Opt out numbers in New York City were low because test scores are needed for admission to middle schools and high schools.

But in parts of the state, like Long Island, about half the students didn’t take the tests.

The New York State Education Department released the test results on a Friday afternoon, a time widely known as the best way to bury news. See here for a local story. The story in New York Politico is here.

Good news for New York City: Its reading scores increased to the state average. This should make Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina happy, since they bet on helping schools instead of closing them.

The subject of standards and assessments is very much up in the air. Most of the states that signed on to administer either of the federally funded Common Core tests–PARCC and SBAC–have dropped out. A few states have abandoned Common Core, while others are calling it something else. There is a growing trend among states that drop PARCC or SBAC to substitute the SAT or the ACT, but neither of these tests were designed as high school graduation tests or as “college-and-career-ready tests.” They are supposed to predict readiness for college, but have nothing to do with career-readiness. Nor does it make sense to leave the Common Core tests and to adopt instead one of the college entrance examinations, not only because they are inappropriate, but because they are aligned with Common Core. David Coleman, heralded as the “architect” of the Common Core, is now president of the College Board. Representatives of the ACT were members of the small group that wrote the Common Core standards. The system has been designed so that students are stuck with Common Core whichever way the state turns, unless it writes its own standards and tests.

Lisa Eggert Litvin, president emeritus of the Hastings-on-Hudson PTSA and co-chair of the New York Suburban Consortium for Public Education wonders why New York continues to hang on to the Common Core standards even though Governor Cuomo’s task force said they should be completely revised.

She notes that early childhood experts have excoriated the standards as developmentally inappropriate. As a result of the Common Core standards, she says,

children’s love for learning is dissipating rather than growing. Parents report that their children don’t want to go to school, that they feel like failures if they can’t read, that there’s no time for play or choice, and that the children are exhausted — in kindergarten. Children lose confidence and feel insecure, all because they aren’t reaching standards that, for many, simply cannot be reached at their stage of development, or because of their challenges.

Yet despite what children are feeling, despite the detailed findings of the Task Force, despite the loss of learning that is occurring, CC is slated to remain in effect well into the future. Specifically, the transition to replacement standards outlined by the Task Force will take several years, until fall 2019 at the earliest — with CC staying in place in the interim.

This makes no sense. Instead, the CC standards should be be put on hold, and already existing, well regarded non-CC standards should instead be used in the interim — just as is being done in other states.

The New York Daily News reports that the wealthy PAC that wants more charter schools has targeted four legislators for defeat because they defend public schools and oppose privatization.

A Super PAC pushing for enactment of a controversial education tax credit to benefit private and parochial schools is targeting Bronx Democratic state Sen. Gustavo Rivera and three Assembly Democratic incumbents in the upcoming Sept.13 primaries, records show.

The PAC, New Yorkers for Independent Action, has already reported spending nearly $256,000 of the $2.78 million it has raised since January on polling and campaign literature in the districts currently represented by Rivera and Assembly members Phil Ramos (D-Suffolk County), Pamela Harris (D-Brooklyn), and Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn).

The PAC reported it is supporting Councilman Fernando Cabrera against Rivera, Giovanni Mata against Ramos, former Assembly aide Kate Cucco against Harris, and City Councilwoman Darlene Mealey against Walker.

New Yorkers for Independent Action’s treasurer is Thomas Carroll, who is president of Invest In Education Foundation, an education reform group.

Tom Carroll started the Brighter Choice charter chain in Albany with the goal of replacing all public schools. Several of his schools closed because of academic deficiencies.

Many parents and educators are outraged by the over-testing and misuse of testing that has been embedded in federal policy since the enactment of No Child Left Behind in 2002. No high-performing nation in the world tests every child every year in grades 3-8, as we have since the passage of NCLB.

Young children sit for exams that last up to 15 hours over two weeks. The fate of their teachers rests on their performance. Parents remember taking tests in school that lasted no more than one class period for each subject. Their tests were made by their teachers, not by a multinational corporation. Parents can’t understand how testing became an endurance trial and the goal of education.

Politicians claim that the tests are necessary to inform parents and teachers and the public how children in one state are doing as compared to their peers in other states. But this information is already reported by the federal test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Parents have figured out that the tests don’t serve any purpose other than to rank their child. No one is allowed to see the test questions after the test. No child receives a diagnosis of what they know and don’t know. They receive only a score. In every state, the majority of children have been ranked as “failures” because the testmakers adopted a passing mark that was guaranteed to fail close to 70% of children. Parents have learned that the passing mark is not objective; it is arbitrary. It can be set to pass everyone, pass no one, or pass some percentage of children.

In the past 14 years, parents have seen the destruction of neighborhood schools, based on their test scores. They have seen beloved teachers fired unjustly, because of their students’ test scores. They have seen the loss of time for the arts, physical education, and anything else that is not tested. They have seen a change in their local public schools that they don’t like, as well as a loss of control to federal mandates and state authorities.

In the past, testing companies warned that tests should be used only for the purpose for which they were designed. Now, these corporations willingly sell their tests without warning about misuse. A test of fourth grade reading tests fourth grade reading. It should not be used to rank students, to humiliate students, to fire teachers and principals, or to close schools. But it is.

Communities have been devastated by the closing of their neighborhood schools.

Communities have seen their schools labeled “failing,” based on test scores, and taken over by the state or national corporate charter chains.

Based on test scores, punishments abound: for students, teachers, principals, schools, and communities.

This is madness!

What can we as citizens do to stop the destruction of our children, their schools, and our dedicated educators.

Opt out of the tests.

Use the power of the powerless: Say NO. Do not participate. Withdraw your consent from actions that harm your child. Withdrawal of consent in an unjust system. That’s the force that brought down Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Vaclav Havel and Lech Walensa said no. They were not alone. Hundreds of thousands stood with them, and the regimes with their weapons and tanks and heavy armor folded. Because the people said no.

Opting out of the tests is the only tool available to parents, other than defeating the elected officials of your state (which is also a good idea, but will take a very long time to bear fruit). One person can’t defeat the governor and the local representatives. But one person can refuse to allow their child to take the toxic tests.

The only tool and the most powerful tool that parents have to stop this madness is to refuse to allow their children to take the tests.

Consider New York. A year ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo was in full attack mode against teachers and public schools, while showering praise on privately managed charters. He vowed to “break the monopoly” known as public education. The New York State Board of Regents was controlled by members who were in complete sympathy with Cuomo’s agenda of Common Core, high-stakes testing, and evaluating teachers by test scores.

But in 2015, about a quarter million children refused the state tests. Albany went into panic mode. Governor Cuomo convened a commission to re-evaluate the Common Core, standards, and testing. Almost overnight, his negative declarations about education changed in tone, and he went silent. The legislature appointed new members, who did not share the test-and-punish mentality. The chair of the New York State Board of Regents decided not to seek re-appointment after a 20-year career on that board. The Regents elected Dr. Betty Rosa, a veteran educator who was actively supported by the leaders of the opt out movement.

Again in 2016, the opt out movement showed its power. While official figures have not yet been released, the numbers evidently match those of 2015. More than half the students in Long Island opted out. Federal and state officials have issued warnings about sanctions, but it is impossible to sanction huge numbers of schools in middle-class and affluent communities. The same officials have no problem closing schools in poor urban districts, treating citizens there as chess pawns, but they dare not offend an organized bloc in politically powerful communities.

The opt out movement has been ridiculed by critics, treated by the media as a front for the teachers’ union, belittled by the former Secretary of Education as “white suburban moms” who were disappointed that their child was not so bright after all, stereotyped as privileged white parents with low-performing children, etc. There are indeed black and Hispanic parents who are part of the opt out movement. Their children and their schools suffer the greatest penalties in the current testing madness. In New York City, where opt out numbers were tiny, parents were warned that their children would not be able to enter the middle school or the high school of their choice if they opted out.

Thus far, the opt out movement has not been discouraged or slowed by these tactics of ridicule and intimidation. The conditions have not changed, so the opt out movement will continue.

The reality is that the opt out movement is indeed a powerful weapon. It is the one weapon that makes governors, legislators, and even members of Congress afraid of public opinion and public action. They are afraid because they don’t know how to stop parents from opting out. They can’t control opt out parents, and they know it. They offer compromises, promises for the future, but all of this is sham. They have not let go of the testing hammer. And they will not until opt out becomes the norm, not the exception.

In some communities in New York, opting out is already the norm. If politicians and bureaucrats continue on their reckless course of valuing test scores more than children, the opt out movement will not be deterred.

Save your child. Save your schools. Stop the corporate takeover of public education. You have the power. Say no. Opt out.

One of the hotbeds of opt out in New York was centered on Long Island, which consists of Nassau County and Suffolk County. Fully half of the students eligible for state tests did not take the tests. Reporter Jaime Franchi surveys the movement and asks, “what’s next?”

A year ago, parents were battling a combative Governor Cuomo, facing a hostile State Education Department, and rallying against Common Core. But what a difference a year makes. Now the Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, Betty Rosa, is an experienced educator who is sympathetic to the parents who opt out.

And the movement has larger goals:

The struggle came to a head during this spring’s testing season, culminating in a giant win for Long Island Opt-Out, a parent-led group that organized an historic number of test-refusals this year with almost 100,000 students—more than half of the student population in Nassau and Suffolk counties—opting out of state tests. Their message has been effective: No more Common Core. Despite incremental fixes promised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his so-called “Common Core Task Force,” they are still demanding concrete changes.

Yet, it remains to be seen how this evolving protest movement will improve or replace the current education agenda.

According to local public education advocates, the answer is multi-tiered. It includes elections: first at the state level and then at the local school board in an effort to tackle education policy from all sides. The goal is a shift away from schools’ increasing test-prep focus almost exclusively on math and reading skills—eschewing the arts and play-based learning—to a comprehensive curriculum that addresses what some advocates call the “whole child.”

The opt out leaders have been shrewd. They have elected nearly 100 of their members to local school boards. They threw their support behind a candidate for the State Senate and he eked out a narrow victory. They regularly schedule meetings with their representatives in Albany.

Opt out leaders want a sweeping change in education policy, from scripted lessons and high-stakes testing to child-centered classrooms, where children are really put first, not test scores.

In late night negotiations, rushing to finish the legislative session, the New York Legislature reached a package deal to extend mayoral control by only one year. Part of the package creates a parallel system for charter schools, which can switch authorizers and choose one (either the State University of New York or the Board of Regents) that will give them freedom from any regulations and standards that apply to public schools. In other words, there will be one set of rules for public schools, and no rules for charter schools. This will be the first time in New York state’s history that the Legislature has officially established a publicly-funded dual school system: One sector is subject to democratic control, the other is not. One must accept (or take responsibility for) all students, the other is free to accept and reject whichever students it wants.

A one-year extension, with few or no caveats, had seemed all but cemented when lawmakers went to bed on Thursday evening. But the morning found Mr. Flanagan pushing for the funding transparency requirement, followed by the charter-school provision in the afternoon. It would effectively create a parallel system of charter schools within the city, allowing “high-performing charter schools in good standing” to switch to join the State University of New York umbrella or the Board of Regents of the State Educational Department.

Not since the era preceding the Brown decision of 1954 has a state legislature so brazenly established a two-tier system of K-12 schools.

The leader of the State Senate, John Flanagan, has made no secret of his contempt for Mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio helped to raise money for Democrats running for the State Senate; had they won, the State Senate would be controlled by Democrats, not Republicans. Governor Cuomo has stabbed the mayor in the back repeatedly, because he doesn’t like to share the stage with any other prominent Democrat in the state. So, the mayor had a losing hand when he asked for a three-year extension of mayoral control.

When Mike Bloomberg asked for a six-year extension in 2009, the Legislature granted it. The State Senate loved Mayor Bloomberg, because he often contributed to individual Republicans running for re-election (three years later, in 2012, the Mayor gave $1 million to the Republican campaign fund for the state senate). When Mayor Bloomberg asked for a renewal of his unlimited power over the schools in 2009, he boasted of the dramatic increase in test scores that were a direct result of his control. However, a year later, the New York Board of Regents commissioned an independent study, which concluded that the New York State Education Department had lowered the passing mark every year and test scores across the state were inflated. When they were adjusted after this revelation, the dramatic gains disappeared. NAEP scores never confirmed the boasts by Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein about “historic gains.”

If anyone remembers what all these political maneuvers over control have to do with educating one million children, please remind me.

Testing expert Fred Smith worked for the New York City Board of Education for more than a decade. Now retired, he assists parent groups understand what the testing corporations are doing.

In this post, he reviews the items released by Pearson (via Questar) to New York. 75% of the test items on the ELA were released. He wonders, why not all of them? We the taxpayers bought them, why not release them to see what we paid for?

He goes through specific test items to show their flaws.

This is a useful review of what the testing corporations are doing.

Fred LeBrun of the Albany Times-Union is the best mainstream journalist in New York state. He understands parents and teachers, and he writes sharp columns that explain more about the state of education than anything you will read in the editorial columns of the New York Times, which hews closely to the NCLB/RTTT narrative. This column is a critique of the recent statement issued by State Commissioner MaryEllen Elia and State University of New York President Nancy Zimpher, containing their proposals for elevating the teaching profession and recruiting more teachers. Take it from LeBrun, the proposals are hogwash that will make it harder to recruit new teachers.

He writes:

A national public school teaching shortage looms, with New York no exception.

This is not breaking news. We’ve known this was coming for some time, although New York poses an interesting set of internal contrasts and contradictions for what this actually means. Like most of the rest of the nation, New York faces a big bloc of baby boomers aging out as teachers and administrators, leaving a lot of holes to be filled.

That is nothing new, either, and not necessarily a bad thing. Retirements bring opportunity for new blood, fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Teachers, even very good ones, wear out.

New York has always been able to meet the challenge of filling classrooms in 700-plus school districts with qualified, accredited teachers because we arguably have, in the State University of New York, the best teacher preparation network of colleges in the nation for cranking them out. We are so good at it we’re a major provider of teachers for other states.

And therein lies New York’s problem. It’s not in creating qualified teachers, even with teacher preparation enrollment in New York dropping 40 percent in the last six years. It’s in keeping them in teaching and in the state, particularly in difficult assignments that aren’t hard to guess at.

Nor is it hard to guess why the college-bound are avoiding the teaching profession in droves, or leaving New York once they get a degree.

You’d have to live on another planet to be mystified. Across the country, public school teaching has gone through six years of organized disrespect by opportunistic politicians and morons with big money looking to privatize public education, abetted by morons with higher degrees in education with wing-nut ideas. Teachers have been deliberately made scapegoats for the far-reaching effects of poverty, demonized, demoralized and sneered at by the likes of Gov. Andrew Cuomo among others. Cuomo seemed to particularly relish humiliating teachers every chance he got, for reasons that remain a mystery. Public revulsion for what teachers were subjected to finally put a stop to it.

Morale within the teaching ranks has to be low, and my guess is recruitment for the retiring ranks will be tough for some time in parts of New York. You can thank Cuomo and his hedge fund friends for that.

So, when State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher* and Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia held a press conference last week to tout an extensive new TeachNY report leading into a campaign for recruiting teacher preparation applicants, it was timely.

I sat down and read all 140 pages of it, and all 62 recommendations. If you can spare a couple of hours, I recommend it. (http://tinyurl.com/hv4y2xc)

Not especially for the content. As I was painfully reminded, there is no gibberish like education gibberish. A good editor could knock it down to under 20 pages of actual English, with maybe a dozen rather ho-hum recommendations. But it’s worth looking at for what it markedly isn’t.

It has only marginally to do with how to recruit teachers to fill a coming shortage. I was astounded at how much a bait and switch it turned out to be, because the report is mostly about how to torque up requirements at those aforementioned teacher preparation colleges in order to make teaching far more demanding, even more rigorous in continual training and evaluation, even more time-consuming in delivery than it is now. More hoops to go through.

The net effect of the recommendations would be to elevate the requirements for becoming — and remaining — a teacher to roughly the status of brain surgery.

I was gobsmacked. Rather than attract more candidates to the profession, the thrust of this report, if executed, will chase more away. What are these people thinking was my first reaction.

Then I took a harder look at the language, and noticed bits like “data-driven” and “evidenced based” and “metrics,” and suddenly the reek of familiar garbage brought on a eureka moment. I’d seen this stuff before, in the justification and language associated with the utterly discredited state high stakes standardized testing tied to teacher evaluations nonsense. The work of the Common Core cadets. That took me to scanning the multitude of participants in this study, and sure enough there was the abominable John King himself, former state commissioner of education, high advocate of blame the teacher. Come to find out the TeachNY report was funded by Race to the Top, groan…..

We need respect for what a teacher is and does and can do, and build from there. This goofy report doesn’t come close.

LeBrun says that the real danger of the report is that any part of it might be picked up and enacted by the legislature, which has demonstrated repeatedly that it does not have a clue about improving education.

He points out that we need an army of new teachers, not a trickle. The recommendations of Elia and Zimpher will narrow the pipeline and make it more like a straw.

The best thing to do with this lengthy report is to ignore it.

Hopefully it is only online and no trees were felled to print it.

*Nancy Zimpher announced that she will step down as president of the State University of New York in September 2017:
http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2016/05/suny-chancellor-zimpher-to-step-down/