Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, September 4, 2015

45% Of APPR Evaluation Ratings For Buffalo Teachers Were Scored Incorrectly

Cuomo has said his APPR teacher evaluation system is "scientific" and "objective."

Sure it is:

Nearly half of the evaluation scores given to Buffalo public school teachers for last school year were wrong.

Forty-five percent of the city’s teachers were assigned incorrect evaluation ratings due to a calculation error by a private, Utah-based company. The company, Truenorthlogic, stated that its calculations for 1,089 teachers “resulted in lower than actual scores” due to an incorrect scoring formula.

In an apologetic letter sent Wednesday to Superintendent Kriner Cash, Truenorthlogic CEO Jim Rosenthal stated that the company was “embarrassed and sorry” for the mistake.

“We feel terrible,” Rosenthal told The News on Thursday.

Oh, yes, they feel terrible.

Too bad they didn't find the errors themselves:

Lower-than-correct scores were given to educators who teach more than one grade level or subject and are required to meet multiple sets of student learning objectives. The company had rewritten its scoring calculations over the summer to enable it to produce scores more rapidly, Rosenthal said. But in doing so, it inadvertently created the calculation error for this group of teachers.

The district’s data chief, Genelle Morris, said a teacher brought the error to the district’s attention. According to the teacher’s manual calculations, she had met her performance targets, but that was not reflected in the online calculations produced by Truenorthlogic. The district checked her calculations and ran them internally through the district’s Information Technology Department and found it could not replicate Truenorthlogic’s scores.

The company soon uncovered the source of the error and the corrected results were posted online for teachers to view late Thursday morning.

“We greatly value our partnership with Buffalo Public Schools and appreciate all they do for kids, and all they do in partnership with us,” he said. “We made a mistake, and we want to move forward with a great school district whose relationship we greatly value.”

The lesson here is, the APPR scores, delivered from the Mount as "scientific" and "objective," are error-riddled and flawed.

And yet, the APPR teacher evaluation system is the one thing Cuomo won't have reviewed as part of his Common Core/Endless Testing regime commission.

Nope - Cuomo says the Common Core implementation was flawed, parents have little faith in the standards, the tests based upon the standards or the curriculum used to teach the standards, but the rating system that evaluates teachers on how well they're teaching the Common Core curriculum and standards and how well students do on the Common Core tests?

That's just fine and dandy.

Even education reform-friendly Josh Greenman was like, how can this be?

It will be fun to see Cuomo twist himself into a pretzel to defend APPR even as the Common Core/Endless Testing edifice comes down around him.

Make no mistake - he will do just that.

APPR is his baby - his donors wanted it, he pushed for it, when pushback came, he fought to impose it on the state through the budget.

He will not want to admit it is as flawed and error-riddled as the Common Core implementation (which he can blame on NYSED), the Common Core tests (which he can blame on Pearson) or the Common Core curriculum (which he can blame on NYSED.)

When it comes to APPR, he has no one to blame but himself.


  1. "And so castles made of sand, slip into the sea - eventually."

    Andy should have listened to more Hendrix when he was a kid.

  2. An apology to the district but none for the teachers. Shocking.

  3. Mr Cuomo realizes that 200,000 students who opted out of the tests last year include a multitude of citizens behind them, including parents, relatives, professional educators, and many, many more citizens learning with each passing day the horrors that were meant to accompany the privatization movement.

    He uses the term "commission" to try to pander to the masses of people concerned about the dangerous direction public education has been sent in under his watch. This is his political playbook, and it is deceptively calculating...

    Under an ethical and moral governor, a commission would incorporate individuals who are professionals in their field, and their reports back would be honest and unbiased. (Mr Cuomo "stacks the deck" with those who will report back to him that which he wants to hear. It lacks independence, and cannot function in a healthy manner, for if it did, it would expose him and his donors in being complicity involved in trying to destroy everything about public education in New York.)

    Cuomo is decoupling Common Core from his high stakes evaluation system, by "tasking the commission" to review it, without making mention of his cookie cutter system he plans to use against educators. By omitting the latter from the former, he can claim that he "addressed the concerns" of parents and students, without doing so completely and honestly.

    By "reviewing" Common Core, he can then pass the blame onto the New York Regents, and thus try to distance himself. But as the leader of this state, where was this commission when Cuomo helped to make the pincers of privatization the law in New York? Setting up a commission to review Common Core in 2015 demonstrates his negligence at best fore Cuomo, and his fraudulence at worse.

    Cuomo cannot link the high stakes testing to the "commission" for a variety of reasons...1) he and the privatization billionaires are tied together, he is indebted to them as they are to him. By including the APPR, he would most certainly expose it for the shamble it is, and this would spell financial defeat for the "education investors", and a drying up of "suitcase contributions". 2) it portrays either his bitter hatred for professional educators and public education in New York, or his total and irresponsible indifference, in exchange for financial and political benefits and powers. 3) It buys Cuomo time as the "spirits of civility" come closer, and affords him the opportunity to continue his assault on public education while engaging in a diplomacy that is deaf, dumb, and blind...on purpose.

    Cuomo will hold onto high stakes testing to the very end...anything else would be admitting wrong, which he is not about to do. His goal now is probably to push his system as far as it can go, because it will inevitably be exposed as the harmful tool it is. If Cuomo and his investors cannot reap permanent benefits, they will destroy as much as possible in the interim.