As of this writing, I have not yet determined whether you (all),the New York State Board of Regents, has decided to implement a new teacher evaluation system that will incorporate a standardized test scoring component that will make up 40 percent of their overall annual review. Is there a reason that the initially agreed upon ‘standard’ of 20 percent was doubled? More to the point, is there a reason for the adjustment to the legislation other than the fact that New York State could stand to lose $700 million in federal Race to the Top funding?
More Harm Than Good
This particular legislation will not only hamstring the general teaching community but even more likely short-change the educational experience of all K-12 NYS students. Similarly ill-conceived and unrealistic, in my opinion, is the roll out of such a system, which will, based on published reports, effectively encompass every standardized exam taken by all participating school districts. Yes, ‘participating’ school districts. Governor Cuomo’s incentivizing the evaluation system, only affording those schools which cooperate with the new arrangement an opportunity to receive a portion of the $500 million set aside to reward districts based on performance (which will undoubtedly be measured, at least in part, on standardized assessment results).
I guess this is Mr. Cuomo’s not-so-subtle way of forcing school districts to throw their hats into the ring, even though they are not entirely obligated to such a thing. In other words, some districts, hence children, will ultimately be denied well-deserved funding simply because they chose not to engage in this unnecessary regulation? Maybe some districts believe that their proverbial houses are in order, with students performing admirably due in part to being exposed to quality teaching, therefore eschewing the need to over-simplify the teacher evaluation process.
Aside from the fact that there is ample research and commensurate documentation that comprehensively refutes any claims that effecting such an evaluation measure is ultimately beneficial to our children, it seems to invite a whole lot of trouble. For every story of assorted school personnel manipulating answers on standardized and local tests, another ten – twenty? – stories never see the light of day. Not to mention the inordinate of time teachers are liable to spend on teaching to these myriad tests, which only serves to narrow curriculum and altogether stifle instruction and learning.
Just out of curiosity, has anyone considered the undoubtedly astronomical cost to ramp up such an endeavor?
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