Tuesday, December 15, 2015


The latest news coming out of the New York State Board of Regents is, as usual, very confusing. On one hand, the Regents voted 15-1 yesterday to remove the state (Common Core) test portion of teacher annual review for the next four years.

On the other hand, student test results on "local" exams remain as part of teacher ratings in this four year transitional period. That means half of each teacher's annual ratings will still be based on student grades on tests. For many of us, the local half was based on state exams but with a different group of kids being counted as compared to the state portion of our rating. Who knows how this will change under the new regulation?

While I don't know what "local" in this context means, I do know that instead of declaring a major victory, the NYSUT statement in reaction to the news was uncharacteristically not boastful. They called it only "an initial step."  Reality Based Educator and the comments over at Perdido Street School aren't too pleased with the initial step.

The NYSUT Statement:

Regents action a first step

Source: NYSUT Media Relations
ALBANY, N.Y. Dec. 14, 2015 — New York State United Teachers issued the following statement in response to today’s vote by the Board of Regents on emergency regulations starting to put in place a moratorium on the use of state tests in teacher evaluations:
“The Common Core Task Force responded to parents and educators’ legitimate concerns about the harmful effects of overtesting on students and the misuse of state tests in teacher evaluations. It issued many important recommendations aimed at reducing testing and the resulting pressure on students, while calling for the development of New York standards by New York teachers that would benefit New York students. Those recommendations opened the door for substantive change and an end to the state’s test-and-punish mentality. Today’s vote on one of those recommendations is an initial step. However, more hard work lies ahead and further changes are necessary to properly implement all the task force’s recommendations. Working collaboratively and constructively, we expect the Regents and State Education Department to make policy changes that restore the joy of teaching and learning to our classrooms.”

1 comment:

Former Teacher said...


I feel that the first sentence you write says it all. This is all very confusing. Teaching essentially is taking the confusion out of knowledge. Well, I do not know why we need to have people write interpretations of the Regents Vote in order to understand what exactly was decided. I mean why do I need to depend on Carol Burris, the PJSTA group, and our fellow bloggers to explain what is, and if anything, is going to change with education in New York State. This is exactly what happened with the financial systems in the United States- Alan Greenspan would come out with some cryptic statement and all the advisers would have to explain it to the rest of us. At the very end of his career and after the financial meltdown of 2008, Greenspan conceded he was "wrong," and there was “a flaw in the model ... that defines how the world works.”

Well, that is exactly what is happening with the world of education. Our educational leaders need to stop covering up all the flaws with the reform education theories that have been implemented in the last 15 years and concede that mistakes were made and the entire education community needs to start speaking in plain English alla Janet Yellen