The Board of Regents voted 11-6 to formally approve a set of rules for the state's teacher evaluation system, which will create a "matrix" that will rate teachers based on observations of their classrooms and growth in student scores on standardized tests.
Gotham Schools reports one regent asked for a separate vote on the evaluation system so that some members could publicly express their disapproval of the plan:
In an unusual move, Regent Judith Johnson asked for a separate vote on the evaluation regulations on Tuesday, allowing the six members who voted against the regulations at Monday’s meeting to do so again. The separate vote reflected some Regents’ hardened opposition to the state’s new evaluation law, which was passed during state budget negotiations earlier this year. Regents typically end their monthly meetings by voting on packages of policies and regulations all at once.
Jessica Bakeman reported that things got tense at yesterday's meeting, with conflict breaking out between the different factions:
“The meeting was tense and disorganized at different points. … Regent James Cottrell, an at-large member from Brooklyn, at one point jokingly referred to the dissenting regents as the ‘gang of seven,’ to which [Bronx Regent Betty] Rosa took offense. She stressed she wanted the record to show she didn’t appreciate name-calling. He apologized, noting that he meant the moniker with only respect. [PRO] http://capi.tl/1IgfSBi
Michael Fiorillo points out the significance of the split on the Board of Regents:
As someone who thinks that gridlock is preferable to a malign consensus (which is what we've had with testing and so-called reform for far too long), I think this is a very good sign, as it appears that conflict is breaking out into the open between different factions, and that the consensus about so-called reform is breaking down. Conflict among so-called reformers will provide opportunities to change the terms of debate in a healthier direction.
That the conflict is out in the open and starting to get hostile does bode well if you're looking to see New York's reform agenda fall to pieces.
More from Michael:
I think I previously gave the over-under on Elia at two years, but I'm inclined to reduce that. She, more than anyone, will be ground to bits if there's open conflict among the Regents. Hopefully Tisch and her Regents Fellows mercenaries precede her.
I would add that Elia has a rep for not suffering fools gladly or working well with others.
Can't wait to see how that goes when she's dealing with a divided Board of Regents and a governor looking to throw her under the bus for any problems that arise.
If this is how they're starting with the vaunted new Cuomo reforms, just wait until the inevitable implementation problems start.