ALBANY—The state Assembly majority is now debating whether to entrust the Board of Regents, a powerful 17-member education policymaking panel, with overhauling the state’s teacher-evaluation system.
Earlier this week, lawmakers indicated they might use the budget to establish a six-member expert commission to develop a new performance rating system, but both the Assembly Democratic and the Senate G.O.P. conferences rejected a plan to withhold an increase in school aid until the panel reached an agreement in June.
But now that panel’s out, Assembly members said on Thursday, and instead Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers want to task the existing board with the job it was constitutionally created to do: crafting education policy. The board’s work would not be linked to appropriations, members said.
The new evaluations would still be required to incorporate student scores on standardized tests as a measure of teacher performance, and the board would have to develop the new system by July 1, according to a state official familiar with the plan.
If the Regents get the task of re-doing evaluations, we have a pretty good idea what that work will look like - Regents Chancellor Tisch has stated publicly that she thinks 40% test scores, 60% observations is what the system should look like.
You can bet that is the system she will push for if given the power to overhaul the system.
There are four new members on the Board of Regents and a few of the stalwart reformers were ousted a few weeks back.
But I suspect there are still enough reformers left over to back Tisch for a reformy outcome and enough pressure will be applied from the outside on anybody not on board with reforminess to ensure that something like 40% tests and 60% observations is what we get in the end.
The politicians will get exactly what they want with this move - a more reformy teacher evaluation system and political cover because it will be coming from another entity and not the legislature itself.