Last week after reading through Andrew Cuomo's 245 page policy pronouncements for his second term, I got the feeling that we were going to see a re-do of Cuomo's vaunted APPR teacher evaluation system.
Cuomo had complained in the past that not enough teachers were being rated "developing" or "ineffective" in their evaluations.
In his policy pronouncement book, Cuomo bragged about APPR, claiming it was one of the best evaluation systems in the nation, but did say that New York has "the opportunity to strengthen teacher and principal evaluations" in his next term anyway.
That sounded like a threat to me.
I wrote that
Cuomo is saying publicly that APPR is a great success, but to make it more successful, it will need to be "strengthened " (i.e., made to more closely mirror student test score results.)
Meanwhile superintendents in the Lower Hudson Valley are saying the test components of the system are so broken that administrators have to rate teachers as high as they can on subjective measures to ensure they don't get low ratings they don't deserve because SED's algorithms suck.
We've got a fight coming in the next term over this awful evaluation system.
As bad as it is now, Cuomo wants to make it worse.
Today the Daily News confirms that threat:
ALBANY — Vowing to break “one of the only remaining public monopolies,” Gov. Cuomo on Monday said he’ll push for a new round of teacher evaluation standards if re-elected.
Cuomo, during a meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board, said better teachers and competition from charter schools are the best ways to revamp an underachieving and entrenched public education system.
“I believe these kinds of changes are probably the single best thing that I can do as governor that’s going to matter long-term,” he said, “to break what is in essence one of the only remaining public monopolies — and that’s what this is, it’s a public monopoly.”
He said the key is to put “real performance measures with some competition, which is why I like charter schools.”
Cuomo said he will push a plan that includes more incentives — and sanctions — that “make it a more rigorous evaluation system.”
Cuomo expects fierce opposition from the state’s teachers, who are already upset with him and have refused to endorse his re-election bid.
“The teachers don’t want to do the evaluations and they don’t want to do rigorous evaluations — I get it,” Cuomo said. “I feel exactly opposite.”
Cuomo in 2012 won enactment of a new system tying teacher performance to the Common Core curriculum testing results.
The implementation of some of those standards was delayed for two years earlier this year in recognition of the sloppy roll-out of the Common Core program.
Cuomo accused teachers of having tried to torpedo the Common Core curriculum in fighting the evaluation standards — and expects they will again.
“They will be using it the way they used it, I believe — to get the parents upset last year about this entire Common Core agenda,” he said.
There you have it - "a more rigorous evaluation system" with "sanctions."
More charter schools.
That's his plans for the second term.
And the tone - the disdain he has for teachers and public schools.
It speaks volumes, doesn't it?
Tell me again why the AFT, UFT and NYSUT helped him out by fighting Zephyr Teachout at the Working Families Party convention?
Tell me again why AFT President Weingarten helped him out by robocalling for his running mate?
The one saving grace we have this time around is that he is under investigation by a US attorney for witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
He has been weakened by Moreland, further weakened by the stupidity he has pulled the last few days over the Ebola protocols.
Also, he is struggling to put together a convincing win on Election day - his support numbers are soft and while I expect him to win, it won't be by the same margin as the first time around.
So he won't have the same juice in the second term that he had in the first and he CAN be beaten on these issues.
Nonetheless a fight is coming - Cuomo has declared war here and he plans on destroying the public school system and the teaching profession.
Time to go to the barricades - with or without the union leadership.