Here's the crux:
If Cuomo really wants to improve teacher evaluations, he should stop talking about the results. That's the easy part.
Instead, Cuomo needs to address the complex questions raised by school districts about the inner workings of the state-imposed system. Are ratings tied to test scores accurate? Have school districts been able to accurately measure the progress of students who don't take standardized tests? Do classroom observations provide useful feedback for teachers and districts? Does the system really help districts fire bad teachers? Is anyone reviewing the effectiveness of the overall system?
Fixing the system matters. Its rushed implementation alienated teachers and school districts, which hurt school morale and got the "reform" era off to an awful start.
If Cuomo really wants to repair a flawed evaluation system, he and legislative leaders need to listen to the myriad of complaints from New Rochelle to Rochester, involve educators in a thorough review, and produce an evaluation system that is tough, fair and informative. That's one way to help kids. In the meantime, he should give teachers the safety net he promised.
Cuomo's not interested in a fair evaluation system, he's not interested in listening to teachers or administrators for input, and he's certainly not interested in making the public education system work better.
He's interested in scapegoating teachers and public schools, using the Common Core tests as a bludgeon to prove why teachers and public schools suck, and do the work his hedge fundie donors want - privatize the school system so that they can cash in.
That's what this whole evaluation fight is about.
Kudos to the LoHud editorial board for telling Cuomo (and the public) what Cuomo ought to be doing to fix things.