Assembly Democrats have introduced legislation that would delay the development and implementation of new teacher evaluations, as well as no longer tie school aid to the new standards.
With the legislative session slated to end June 17, Assembly Democrats in particular want to delay implementation of the new teacher evaluations that is required of the state Board of Regents by June 30.
The bill, sponsored by Assembly Education Committee chairwoman Cathy Nolan, D-Queens, would extend the deadline from June 30 to Nov. 17, and it would also extend the deadline for schools to put the new measures into place for a year — from Nov. 15 to Nov. 15, 2016.
The bill would also make a number of changes to the evaluation process, many of which were sought by the powerful teachers unions:
Change the definition of “state-designed supplemental assessment” to include “other locally selected measures of student achievement” to be approved by the state Education Department.
Modify the teacher observation category to allow, instead of require, districts to use the independent trained evaluator process as part of a voluntary demonstration project established by the state.
Add $8.4 million to print more test forms for grades 3-8 state tests and eliminate “stand-alone” multiple choice field tests and release tests questions and answers by June 1 of each year.
Require state-provided growth models for teachers in grades 4-8 to consider “certain student characteristics,” such as students with disabilities, English-language learners and poverty status.
Create a content review committee to review the English and math tests for grades 3-8.
Mandate the education commissioner to review Common Core education standards and make recommendations for changes.
As for the independent evaluators Cuomo insisted on, I always thought that part of the plan would fall apart because it is, in the end, expensive and unworkable.
Having the SED commissioner (whomever that is) review the Common Core standards?
Given how they'll only hire a pro-Common Core ed deformer as the new SED commissioner to replace only pro-Common Core ed deformer John King, that "change" to the education reform agenda is meaningless too.
It's just like making SED create a kangaroo court to review the state tests - might as well give them a big rubber stamp now and get the whole thing over with.
I dunno, I see NYSUT crowing about this on twitter, but I'm not very impressed.
Quite frankly, Bianca Tanis summed the whole thing up for me in one tweet:
@marty10707 @NYSAPE Can't name one protection for kids.No reduct in test time,no parent notification of right to refuse,no protect for SWDs— Bianca Tanis (@BiancaTanis) May 14, 2015
That's right - the essential "Testing First" nature of the system remains in place despite these proposed changes from the heavy hearts in the Assembly.
I maintain that delaying something bad like Cuomo's "test-centric" evaluation system isn't an improvement over getting rid of it entirely.