Thursday, December 10, 2015


UFT President Michael Mulgrew is out declaring major wins on the Governor's Education Task Force recommendations and the passage of the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

Here is recommendation 21 on testing from the Task Force in its entirety:

Recommendation 21: Until the new system is fully phased in, the results from assessments aligned to the current Common Core Standards, as well as the updated standards, shall only be advisory and not be used to evaluate the performance of individual teachers or students. Given the amount of work needed to get the new system right, the Task Force recommends that until the transition to a new system is complete, i.e. New York State-specific standards are fully developed along with corresponding curriculum and tests, State-administered standardized ELA and Mathematics assessments for grades three through eight aligned to the Common Core or updated standards shall not have consequences for individual students or teachers. Further, any growth model based on these Common Core tests or other state assessments shall not have consequences and shall only be used on an advisory basis for teachers. The transition phase shall last until the start of the 2019-2020 school year. High standards are a pathway to a brighter future for all of our children but must be tailored to our students and our system. When combined with high quality, locally-driven teaching and assessments these high standards will ensure that every student in New York has access to a great education and a bright future. We believe that these recommendations will help do just that. 

Are we still stuck with local scores?  How will we be evaluated on the Measure of Student Learning part of our evaluation?

Read Mulgrew's email below along with the Task Force Recommendations and decide for yourself if this is a giant leap ahead as Mulgrew claims.

Dear James,

Today is an historic day for public education in New York State.

This morning I was able to stand at the White House with other education and political leaders as President Obama signed legislation that bars the federal government from mandating the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers and the use of the Common Core standards.

Later this afternoon, Governor Cuomo's Common Core Task Force issued its report. In essence, the task force report urges a fundamental reset of education policy in New York State, including a four-year ban on the use of state growth scores to evaluate both teachers and students.

The task force urges the state — working with educators — to develop its own learning standards following a thorough review of the Common Core Learning Standards. As part of that overhaul, new age-appropriate standards would be designed for students in the early grades and appropriate accommodations would be made to meet the needs of students with disabilities and English language learners.

The task force recognizes the need for a comprehensive multi-year plan to create matching curriculum and tests and to properly train teachers. While this process goes forward, the task force recommends that the results from tests aligned to the current Common Core standards — as well as the updated standards — not be used as part of student and teacher evaluations before 2019.
In contrast to the state's failed implementation of the Common Core standards, the task force says now is the time to get it right. It calls for the new system to be developed and implemented gradually — and with educator input every step of the way.

The task force's recommendations now go to the state Board of Regents. We will now shift our focus to the Regents to ensure their passage.

Over the past 12 years, you and your students have seen the joy of learning slip away as our classrooms were turned into test-prep factories.

While we still have hard work ahead of us, we are poised to change the testing obsession that has done so much harm to our schools and our profession. I can’t thank you enough for your perseverance as we fought for this day.

Michael Mulgrew
Michael Mulgrew

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