The real solutions are simple but courageous. First, follow the lead of California and do not engage in grade 3-8 testing this year. Have early childhood experts review the standards and curriculum to determine whether they are indeed appropriate for young children, and fix what is not. Then roll back testing time to 2010 levels.
Second, admit the hastily enacted teacher evaluation plan is a root cause of both overtesting and teaching to the test. After the first year of the evaluations, 92 percent New York State teachers were found to be effective or high effective. Is this worth the cost?
Third, stop the contract with InBloom. The parent portals to their children's data that the firm was to develop should be kept within the districts.
It is obvious that the state Education Department leadership has badly botched these reforms. Shortly, the terms of four Regents are up. The Legislature must choose candidates who will responsibly set reform and manage change.
If the Legislature is serious about the concerns they heard, this may be the most effective "fix" of all.
As I wrote yesterday, Governor Cuomo is heavily invested in this APPR teacher evaluation system because it is his teacher evaluation system.
This system is not going anywhere so long as Sheriff Andy Cuomo isn't made to pay a political price for his APPR teacher evaluations.
It is time to make him pay for his education reform agenda.
Cuomo is running for re-election in 2014, he wants to run for president in 2016.
If every parent and teacher who is alarmed by the overtesting in NY State, by the teacher evaluation system that mandates so much of that overtesting, by the Common Core that imposes Endless Assessing as part of the deal, and by the inBloom data project that is going to track much of this data and hand it over to edu-entrepreneurs lets Andrew Cuomo know that they will NOT vote for him in 2014, indeed, will actively work against him because of his destructive education policies, you can bet those policies will change.
Cuomo is a bully who wants his own way on everything and has no problem threatening people to make that happen.
But like most bullies, he is also a coward and when confronted by large numbers of people opposing his policies, he will fold like his pal Billy Joel at a DWI checkpoint.
Let's make 2014 the year that Andrew Cuomo finally faces political realities - if he continues to impose his education reform agenda, even in secret using Tisch and King as his front people for it, he will pay a dear political price.