ALBANY — As education commissioner MaryEllen Elia updated a Senate panel on her agency's 2016 priorities Wednesday, lawmakers noted a "different vibe in the room.”
Her meeting with the Senate Education Committee came a little more than six months after she took over heading the agency from John King, a champion of the Common Core learning standards who became a polarizing figure in the state after their troubled rollout. He left for the federal agency and is now acting secretary of education there.
Among the priorities that Elia detailed Wednesday were revising the principal and teacher evaluation system, involving teachers in revising the Common Core learning standards and creating state assessments.
The Regents board has already put a moratorium on the use of student test scores in teacher and principal evaluations through the 2019-2020 school year while the system is under review. It has also made changes to the state tests, shortening them and increasing the time allotted, and the Education Department is reviewing the standards, assessments and evaluations.
Is this a "moratorium"?
Common Core grade 3-8 scores won't be used for teacher evaluations until 2019 but other tests will still be in there including high school Regents Exams unless they are tied to a state growth model. Does going from a growth model to a Student Learning Objective (SLO) system constitute an end to high stakes testing? I don't think so.
Footnote 10 in the SED Q & A states:
Teachers with SLOs that are based on Regents assessments will not be impacted and must continue to use SLOs with such assessments.
This is footnote 3 from the Q & A from SED:
Please note that teachers and principals whose APPRs do not include the grades 3-8 ELA and math State assessments or State-provided growth scores on Regents examinations are not impacted by the transition regulations and their evaluations shall be calculated pursuant to their district’s/BOCES’ approved APPR Plan without any changes. For example, a building principal of a CTE program whose APPR utilizes CTE assessments as part of the student performance component of their APPR will not be impacted by the transition regulations.
For math and ELA teachers, the Regents exams are the new Common Core exams, many with low passing rates - especially in math.
Moratorium on using Common Core test scores for teacher evaluations?
When will the education press stop writing stuff like "the Regents board has already put a moratorium on the use of student test scores in teacher and principal evaluations through the 2019-2020 school year while the system is under review"?
Because it's not true - NYSED's APPR Q&A lays that out quite specifically, as did Governor Cuomo a while back.
The more accurate description is, there is a partial moratorium on test scores for some teachers while the rest continue to be linked to test scores - including Common Core Regents test scores for some high school teachers.