There was much surprise around the Internets and the Twitterverse and not a few "What is this, April Fools?" comments.
And why not - Cuomo has resisted any changes to APPR, even threatening the Board of Regents when they suggested making very minor changes to the system a couple of months ago.
So why did Cuomo make this announcement about impending APPR changes yesterday?
Perhaps the Rob Astorino opt out video spooked him and his advisers and pushed them to announce some nebulous future change to teacher evaluations.
Perhaps there was some deal made with the teachers unions and/or Shelly Silver to announce tweaks to APPR if they didn't fight the charter school protections Cuomo wanted enshrined in the budget.
In any case, it doesn't matter the reason, it doesn't even matter the words Cuomo used in announcing potential future changes to APPR - what really matters is what changes get made.
As one commenter here at Perdido Street School blog noted:
Unless Cuomo withdraws from Race to the Top, there will still be tests tied to teacher evaluations. I do not see Cuomo dropping from Race to the Top anytime soon.
In addition, Cuomo still wants to hawk his APPR teacher evaluation system as one of the major accomplishments of his first term as governor when he runs for re-election this year, so I don't see him allowing any meaningful changes to APPR to make it into law.
If anything, this is another jive head fake from Cuomo, like the Cuomo Common Core panel he announced a few months back, the one he said would look into the CCSS implementation and make some adjustments.
If you remember, he loaded that CCSS panel up with Common Core shills and proponents, then had them ignore the one member of the panel who disagreed with the panel's findings and issue a "unanimous" report on how swell the Common Core is.
I would expect similar machinations here from Sheriff Andy - there's nothing in the statements he made or the circumstances he is facing over APPR or CCSS yet that make me think otherwise.
Now if we get closer to Election Day and Cuomo suddenly starts to see a close race and the pollsters blame some of that close race on parents and teachers either ditching Andy for his opponent, Rob Astorino, or just ditching him and not voting at all, then you might see some REAL change to APPR and the Cuomo/Regents/NYSED reform agenda.
For now what you're seeing is a head fake on APPR, as you saw a head fake on Common Core from Cuomo these past few months.
And I dunno about you, but a head fake on APPR is not good enough for me.
Neither are tweaks to the system.
Cuomo is playing games, folks, and I am not in the mood for games.
I sense the same from many of you out there.
Let us not accept minor tweaks to APPR made out of political expediency by Sheriff Andy Cuomo.