Is the pendulum really swinging or are we just part of a sleight of hand ruse?
As a deadline creeps closer and school districts all across New York State huddle in negotiations with local teacher associations to agree on a new evaluation plan, under the threat of a loss in state aid, a prominent Regent and Governor Cuomo have either come to their senses or are imitating Penn and Teller.
Regent Tillis of Long Island said to a forum of teachers, “I oppose the use of standardized tests to evaluate teachers and principals,” and “not admitting a mistake is making a bigger mistake.” He also called for an end to the use of the state’s so-called “growth scores,” and he recommended changes in state law that would allow more emphasis on local measures of achievement. These would include “Student Learning Objectives” — assessments adopted by school districts — as well as teacher-written tests and “portfolios” of students’ classwork. He also made a point to say he was speaking as an individual and not for the Board of Regents.
At the next meeting of the Board of Regents on Sept. 16-17 they will be voting to make the new teacher-principal evaluation rules permanent. The question remains, will Tilli’s vote reflect his bold statement to teachers or will he say once again he has no choice but to continue the status quo? Are his words just a distraction from the criticism he has been receiving, much like a Penn and Teller trick? I hope not.
New York Governor Cuomo issued a press release today stating ,
“The fact is that the current Common Core program in New York is not working, and must be fixed. To that end, the time has come for a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Common Core Standards, curriculum, guidance and tests in order to address local concerns. I am taking this action not because I don’t believe in standards, but because I do.”
He promised to ask a representative group from his former Education Commission, including education experts, teachers, parents, the Commissioner of Education and legislative representatives to perform a comprehensive review of the implementation of the Common Core Standards, curriculum, guidance and tests in order to address local concerns.
Cuomo’s sleight of hand has been exposed before. I don’t trust him anymore than I would trust the guy on the corner playing 3 Card Monte.
Cuomo states, in his press release, that he believes in the standards and he blames the NYS Education Department for its faulty implementation, even though he held state aide hostage until his vision for implementation was adhered to. Cuomo goes on to say he sympathizes with the frustration of parents yet he refuses to visit with them at the schools where their children go.
Cuomo refuses to meet with teachers, refuses to visit our classes, and he knows full well that he continues to hold state aide hostage today, until teachers agree to his faulty rollout of Common Core. Notice he is not calling an immediate halt of his new evaluation plan!
What do you think? Is that pendulum swinging or are we the target of a sick magic trick?