The latest example is this:
New York state education officials said they would look for ways to make sure that students weren't being over-tested, after concerns from parents and educators about exams tied to a new teacher-evaluation system.
Many schools across the state last year started testing what students knew at the beginning of the year to measure how much they learn by the end of the year. New York City is part of the new teacher-evaluation system for the first time this year.
The new system was required by the state under a 2010 law, and it grades teachers in part on student test scores. While some principals and teachers say the tests are useful, others complain about the hours of testing added to the beginning of the school year. A growing chorus of concerns has prompted the review by the state Education Department. "Our first look is going to be to make sure there's no duplication of efforts," spokesman Dennis Tompkins said.
This is NYSED trying to pay some lip service to parent concerns that children are being overtested.
They don't really intend on changing anything.
In truth, they can't.
Not under the APPR teacher evaluation system, which requires districts evaluate teachers on "student achievement" (i.e., test scores.)
What's worse, because they decided that the 40% test component would be made up of 20% local measures, 20% state measures, they have added additional layers of tests in every grade in every subject simply to evaluate teachers.
They can call these things "performance assessments" or some other reformy euphemism all they want - the truth is, they are tests that students are taking at the beginning and the end of the year so that their teachers can be evaluated.
For the SED spokesman to say the department is looking to make sure "there's no duplication of efforts" on testing is nothing more than a p.r. move to try and fool parents into thinking they're listening to their concerns over testing and the Common Core.
They have no intention of changing anything in their reform agenda no matter what they say, and that reality was brought home again this week when they proudly announced that teacher evaluation results will be available to the public before the end of the year:
By Dec. 31, parents in New York will for the first time be able to review their children's teachers' performance and compare them to aggregate ratings for teachers in counties statewide, State Department of Education officials said Thursday.
Gee, that doesn't sound like a school commissioner or education department looking to address problems with overtesting in the education system.
That sounds like a school commissioner and education department going full speed ahead with their reform agenda, hoping that they'll be able to fool the public with their public relations nonsense about hearing parents concerns and looking for ways to address those concerns.
Believe nothing these education reformers say about addressing parent concerns on overtesting or Common Core implementation or data collection.
They have been dishonest from the beginning, shoving through many of these changes while people weren't paying attention, pretending that the systems they have worked out to evaluate teachers are "objective" and "scientific" when they are anything but, claiming the Common Core will raise student performance when they have no idea whether that is true or not because these standards, the attendant curriculum that is being developed for them and the tests that go along with them have been tested nowhere.
No matter what they say, the public should know that Commissioner King, Regents Chancellor Tisch, NYSED and the Board of Regents are continuing full speed on their reform agenda.
Watch what they do, not what they say.
Their actions say nothing has changed.