"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New York State's Meaningless Concessions Throw Out the Only Tests Worth Keeping

In New York, the teacher evaluation formula is based on 20 percent state mandated tests, 60 percent observation, and 20 percent local assessments.  While canceling nary a state test or any of the planned implementation of the Corporate Core, the New York Board of Regents and their new panel of CorpEd advocates have have come up with a plan to shove local systems into dumping their own local assessments in favor of, what?  Will state tests now count 40 percent of a teacher's evaluation instead of 20 if local assessments are jettisoned?  From the Press Release February 10:

Increasing flexibility for districts to reduce local testing used to inform teacher evaluation

Creating an expedited review process for districts that propose to amend their teacher evaluation plans to reduce local testing

Eliminating local traditional standardized tests for K-2 used to inform teacher evaluations (The State does not administer traditional standardized tests in K-2.)

Capping at 1% the instructional time that can be used for local assessments     used to inform teacher evaluations (The federally required State assessments in grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Mathematics account for less than 1% of instructional time.)

In making this move, King and his band of corporate fools can try to pretend that localities are responsible for the non-stop testing in the state that now has citizens up in arms.  At the same time, they take away any local autonomy in the kind of assessment used to evaluate teachers.

Oh, the other big news:  approval a half-billion for Corporate Core professional development.
$525 million Core Instructional Development Fund aimed at providing increased professional development for Common Core implementation
Wonder if Pearson or McGraw-Hill will get most of this cash? 

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