ALBANY—A coalition of Common Core supporters that includes the Business Council of New York and advocacy group StudentsFirstNY wrote to state education leaders on Thursday in support of a proposal to reduce local testing in schools by increasing reliance on state assessments aligned to the more rigorous standards.
The letter, from High Achievement New York, a group that last year advertised in support of the controversial English and math curriculum guidelines, “endorse[d] the goals” of a recent 20-page letter from Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch to a Cuomo administration top aide advocating for extensive changes to education law.
The coalition focused on Tisch’s proposal to amend the state-mandated teacher evaluation law by eliminating a component that relies on students’ scores on locally designed tests. Instead, Tisch recommended in the letter that performance evaluations should rely more heavily on state testing, removing the need for some local tests that districts have been administering solely for the purpose of rating teachers.
The jive we're getting out of the Regents, SED and the education reformer PR is that getting rid of the local assessments that are used for 20% of a teacher's evaluation will reduce the number of tests in the system and thus reduce the stress around testring.
This is NOT the case.
Making state tests count for 40% of a teacher's overall evaluation - and then saying if a teacher comes up "ineffective" on that 40% they MUST be declared "ineffective" overall - will NOT reduce the time, energy and resources spent on testing and test prep in schools.
If anything, it will INCREASE the time, energy and resources spent on test prep and testing in schools.
If Tisch and her merry reformer advocates want to increase the test component of the evaluation to 40%, then force an "ineffective" rating overall if a teacher comes up "ineffective" on that 40%, they should be honest about what the consequences of that policy will be (especially since they also want to make two "ineffective" ratings in a row cause to pull a teacher from the classroom.)
The changes proposed by Tisch, SED and the reformers will turn New York State schools into the Hunger Games, with then state tests and the VAM SED attaches to them as the weapons for battle.
It will be all testing all the time as th e40% test component of the APPR teacher evaluation systmem becomes, in effect, 100%.