This space explores issues in public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of "metastasizing testing" aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build. JH August, 2005
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Nineteen NY Legislators Protest Unproven and Damaging Teacher Evaluation Scheme
“Testing and education experts have expressed serious concerns about the validity of the model, pointing to the inability of this methodology to identify the most effective teachers. As an Economic Policy Institute briefing paper mentions, one study found that across five large urban districts, among teachers rated in the top 20% of effectiveness in the first year, less than a third were in the highest rated group the following year, and another third moved all the way down to the bottom 40%.”
Nineteen legislators signed a letter to Governor Cuomo asking that he support legislation to turn the Principal/Teacher Evaluation law into a 3-year pilot program:
The unintended consequences of this model extend beyond the teaching profession. This model creates incentives for an increased focus on test preparation and a corresponding narrowing of the curriculum. “The high-stakes testing model could have a direct, negative impact on the quality of the education our students receive. We must ensure that we do not mistakenly damage the teaching profession and our school system in a flawed attempt to increase accountability,”
Brennan plans to reintroduce legislation to turn the APPR into a three-year pilot program. In this three-year period, the Commissioner would be required to review and evaluate the APPR system and report to the Governor on the validity of the evaluations. High-stakes decisions, such as termination of employment and compensation based on student test data, would be suspended during this time.
The nineteen legislators deserve high praise – the governor has run roughshod over both houses of the legislature with very little opposition.
Hopefully the nineteen will turn into ninety and more.