ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo took to the air in a new ad Tuesday urging New Yorkers to pressure their local school districts and unions to reach deals on new teacher evaluation systems.
The ad, paid for by the state’s Democratic Party, comes as a host of teachers unions and administrators push for changes to a grading deal brokered by Cuomo between the state Education Department and the state teachers union.
The governor has threatened to withhold state aid if the local districts do not implement the teacher evaluations by January.
The ad is scheduled to run on radio stations statewide. In it, Cuomo reiterates his message that New York’s spending on education ranks first in the nation while the state’s graduation rate is 38th.
“It’s not just how much government spends, it’s how we spend it that counts — and we must do better,” Cuomo said. “Now we need the individual school districts across the state to implement these new standards,” he added.
Never mind that 1/3 of the principals in this state are calling for changes to the system - including rolling out a pilot program before forcing every school in every district in the state to use it.
Never mind that the evaluation system isn't actually finished - the VAM that will be used on student test scores hasn't been developed, the tests that will be rolled out in every subject in every grade haven't been created yet EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE WILL BE FIRED USING THIS SYSTEM - Cuomo and the State Democratic Party want to make sure that the public is fooled into thinking this sound is sound, scientific, objective and ready to go.
It is none of those things.
I will reiterate something I said last week - I spoke to someone in a state senators's office who said to me that no changes are going to get done to the system because the the NYSUT already made the agreement, so what you saw last month in the governor's press release is going be the new teacher evaluation system in New York.
This person also said lots of people in Albany know it's going to be a nightmare, that it is essentially unworkable because it is so complex, will force school districts to add so many new tests to the curriculum JUST TO GRADE TEACHERS, and will be the subject of so many lawsuits (especially because nobody knows how unreliable the VAM is going to be.)
And yet, Cuomo and the State Democratic Party are running a propaganda campaign to get this through in every district by September 2012.
You can bet the UFT will agree to this piece of garbage as soon as Andy comes a callin' to Mulgrew and puts some pressure on him.
All I can say is, it's going to be a dark, dark time for the next five years until somebody comes to their senses in Albany.
Teachers need to start bombarding their assembly members and state senators NOW about this impending catastrophe.
In addition, researching legal help wouldn't be a bad idea either.
You can bet if you're declared "ineffective" with this new system, the UFT will be useless as a defense.