Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's Official: NYSED & Regents Plan No Major Changes To Their Reform Agenda

For those of you paying close attention to the Gospel of the Common Core Tour in which SED Commissioner King and Regents Chancellor Tisch went around the state trying to drum up support for their reform agenda after King had a public meltdown in Poughkeepsie when some parents dared to challenge him over CCSS, you won't be surprised by this news:

There will be no major changes to the SED/Regents agenda now that the Common Core Tour is over.

Here is what Merryl Tisch and John King say they plan to implement post-Common Core Tour:

1. Increasing understanding. We've just completed a series of 20 forums across the state, including five broadcast on public television. We're expanding our web site about Common Core,, which includes a toolkit for parents and other instructional resources. We're highlighting the good work on Common Core happening in schools through an educators' blog and videos of great instruction.

2. Professional development. We've trained thousands of teachers and principals in best practices for implementation, and we'll hold more events on the regional level. More than $70 million in Race to the Top professional development grants is headed to high-need districts. The Board of Regents is proposing a $125 million (increasing to $200 million per year in subsequent years) Core Instructional Development Fund to support professional development and parental involvement.

3. Ensuring adequate funding. The Board of Regents State Aid Proposal expected to be approved this week includes a $1.3 billion total funding increase request for school districts, including additional funding for new instructional materials, while improving funding equity.

4. Concerns with testing. We've reduced the number of questions and testing time on the federally required assessments for grades 3 to 8, and our state budget request will include funding to further reduce testing time and eliminate standalone field tests. We are also asking the U.S. Department of Education for adjustments to assessment policies for English language learners and students with disabilities.

5. Review and refinement. As high schools phase in Common Core, students will have the option of taking the old form of certain Regents exams, alongside the Common Core-aligned version, to help ensure fairness. And we're strengthening the role of the department's Content Advisory Panels — composed of educators from across the state — to guide professional development and state-created optional instructional materials in different content areas.

In short, they plan to increase the propaganda load to the public in hopes of fooling some people into thinking their agenda isn't as harmful as it is, they plan to force a bunch of Common Core PD onto teachers already up to their eyebrows in jive-ass Common Core PD, and they're asking the state for more money so they can pay for the propaganda and jive-ass PD.

They claim they're decreasing testing time and questions for grades 3-8, but unless you just fell off the turnip truck, you know that you cannot believe a word these people say.  Many children had trouble completing the state tests last year, so reducing the time allotment for them, as Tisch has said she planned to do, does not seem too feasible a solution to the testing problem to me. 

Getting rid of the field testing is a great idea, but if they get rid of the field tests, don't they have to embed the field test questions into the regular tests, thus increasing the number of questions?  They say they plan to decrease the questions on the test, but this goal seems incompatible to me with getting rid of the field testing.

Frankly, you can reduce a whole bunch of testing by getting rid of Danielson and the teacher evaluation systems that mandate so much of this "assessment."  That topic they never touch though, because they're too busy lying about how they plan to reduce the state-mandated testing and win over the teachers and the public with all the extra money for propaganda and jive-ass PD.

Maybe these two think this is winning stuff they're going with here, but I don't see how they convert too many critics or opponents to their cause with these kinds of "adjustments."

And notice how they never touch one of the most controversial of their reforms - the inBloom data program. 

That, apparently, will go on no matter what, under the cover of the night, just like they never heard any criticism or opposition to that project on the Common Core Tour.

No, I just don't see how this stuff quells the furor over the SED/Regents reform agenda, the Endless Testing and the CCSS, the inBloom data project and the APPR teacher evaluation system.

It's not even a really good try, but given how Sheriff Andy Cuomo won't even answer any questions about this stuff, it's about all we're going to get for now.

But we'll make sure that changes in 2014 when Sheriff Andy saddles up his horse for re-election.


  1. This is actually good news Reality. I am predicting it will strengthen the opposition to Common Core. Getting rid of Danielson is an excellent suggestion, but then how will they be able to eliminate teachers? Data mining is probably the most dangerous element of the package so they will proceed with full speed ahead. Couldn't we just go back to the good old days when we read and discussed books with children sans scripts?

    1. I agree - by doubling down on all the reforms, from the testing to the CCSS to the evals to inBloom, they just throw more wood onto the fire.