The law also charges the education commissioner and Regents chancellor with determining “the weights and scoring ranges” for the testing and observation components. Tisch, who has said she supports an evaluation system in which test scores count for 40 percent in the past, did not specify what an ideal weight for tests should be. But she repeatedly suggested there is enough flexibility in the legislation for the Regents to keep it at less than 50 percent.
“What we are going to do at the State Education Department is create an evaluation system that takes guidance from the legislation as was intended,” Tisch said. “[Lawmakers] didn’t put in 50 percent, which means they couldn’t agree to 50 percent.”
City teachers union President Michael Mulgrew said in an interview that his reading of the law also left plenty open to interpretation.
“It’s not 50 percent test scores,” Mulgrew said. “It’s not a victory for [Cuomo] at all.”
Carol Burris dispenses with the Tisch/Mulgrew jive here:
This is the plan they approved: Teachers will receive two, component scores–one based on “student performance” and a second based on observations. State standardized tests must be used for the first score, if such tests are part of the course or grade level taught by the teacher. Schools may add an additional test, but it must be created by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), or be on a NYSED approved list. In both cases, NYSED must create the means to generate a standardized “growth score” for that test. Clearly, when the legislature politely called this measure “student performance,” they were talking about tests, not talent shows.
Using a matrix, the two scores (performance and observation) will be blended to produce the final evaluation score, according to the line by line instructions in the bill, which you can find here.
Incredibly, both Chancellor Merryl Tisch and United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew as well as many who voted for the bill, claim tests do not comprise 50 percent of the new APPR evaluation. As Stuyvesant High School math teacher, Gary Rubenstein, explained, if the tests were not worth 50 percent, the chart would not have symmetry. It’s a simple concept apparently not being grasped by policy makers.
I suspect that policy makers didn't grasp this concept because they didn't want to grasp it.
It is in their interest to keep saying Cuomo didn't get his 50% test component just as it is in Michael Mulgrew's interest to keep repeating that assertion as well.
But that certainly doesn't make the assertion true.