Commissioner John King always planned to embrace the option, but his proposal at April’s Board of Regents meeting was met with resistance from members who questioned the methodology’s reliability and asked to shelve the plan. In recent weeks, the state teachers union also lobbied members who were on the fence.
This week, Chancellor Merryl Tisch signaled the pressure was effective, acknowledging that she expected the Board of Regenst to hold off on the proposal when it meets next week.
“This is not the stuff that I feel we go to war over,” Tisch said yesterday in a radio interview.
The Regents and the NYSED are under attack from students, parents, teachers and principals all over the state over their testing and evaluation policies.
Up until now, Tisch and King have ignored the protests or blamed them on either the teachers unions or the media.
They've maintained that NY State must go full speed ahead with the reforms - even if they're only half-baked, unpiloted, untested and unproven.
But they seem to be getting the message that ratcheting up the junk science from 20% to 25% is indefensible - especially since they don't have the algorithms worked out for comparing the old state tests with the new Common Core tests or calculating growth on the Regents exams:
King and Tisch have repeatedly declined calls to slow down implementation for the major parts of their standard, testing and evaluation reforms. The possibility of a concession comes just two days after thousands of teachers and advocates protested in Albany to rally against the state and country’s education policies.
Tisch struck a conciliatory note on Monday when explaining the state’s reasons for reconsidering.
“I think we’ve heard very carefully from teachers [and] principals about the need to go about this cautiously,” Tisch said.
“I think that the rally had to be on her mind when she spoke Monday morning,” said New York State United Teachers President Dick Iannuzzi, who added that union leadership had also been explaining their position to Regents last week.
The protest last weekend got their attention, but so did the principals protests and the calls for King's firing from his NYSED post.
Even blog posts are catching the eye of the NYSED functionaries.
Turns out King and Tisch do not live in bubble.
Still, just because they're signaling a slight slow down to the junk science doesn't mean this APPR system is anything but crap and we still don't need to work to end it as soon as we can and rid the state of NYSED Commissioner/rookie teacher John King and Regents Chancellor/K-12 Inc. investor Merryl Tisch while we're at it.
It's time to shelve both the system and the functionaries who pushed it.