“….Among Mr. Cuomo’s top priorities is to revamp a teacher evaluation system that he calls “baloney.” Fewer than 1 percent of the state’s teachers were rated ineffective in the most recent evaluations, while only about a third of the state’s students in grades 3 through 8 were proficient in math and language arts. He wants to make it harder for teachers to get tenure and easier to fire ineffective and bad teachers. He wants to bring in a receiver or turnaround specialist to take over schools designated as failing for three years. And he wants to increase the number of charter schools while adding an “anti-creaming” provision to make certain these schools don’t pick the best students. He wants to require these schools to take a certain percentage of poor or disadvantaged students….” NYT Editorial 1/22/15
“Baloney” is probably the nicest way of putting it. I am not sure in what profession (I.e.. nursing, fire-persons, air traffic controllers, etc.) where the professionals can be so dramatically unsuccessful and still maintain their positions…. I know (because I have heard it so many times) we can’t successfully educate them because; “The children are (pick one): Too poor, have only one parent, live in “bad neighborhoods”, one or both parents don’t have college degrees………. Well those who believe in those reasons and rationales for student under achievement, should step aside and allow those who do believe that we can successfully educate children in spite of, and because of the previously mentioned barriers, step forward! Things like poverty are a challenge; but a student being poor does not determine a destiny or a destination. And however one feels about “testing” being the proper tool for assessing the effectiveness of an educational system; surely, at the very least, not being able to read the words on a test properly is a problem. I like the idea of placing schools into “receivership”, although I would like to see what that really means operationally beyond labeling schools as “failing”. This “receivership” idea can work if an empowered, skilled and experienced “turnaround team” can be placed into a school with the authority to radically transform its failing culture; that will take some political courage on the part of the governor. “Charter schools”: My ideal situation is to relieve all schools of all of the many crushing contractual agreements they must push against daily; if children are to have any chance to learn. But charter schools are a present reality; and while and where they exist; don’t allow them to stack the educational deck. But if the governor could as I did just start with ridding the system of the obvious “baloney” items; we may be able to do something, something right on behalf of children.