Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cuomo Says State Tests Only Count For Teachers, Not For Students

Governor Cuomo, ever the divider, looks to drive a wedge between parents and teachers on the opt-out/Endless Testing issue:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was questioned earlier Friday about news that school districts are likely to request delays in implementing the new teacher evaluation program he inserted in this year’s budget. He stressed that the tests used in the evaluations don’t affect the students grades.

“The grades are meaningless to the students,” Cuomo said in a brief press gaggle following an Association for a Better New York breakfast event in New York City.

The tests, given in grades 3-8 in English and math are used to evaluate how effective a teacher is. Scores from a given teacher’s class can be compared at the start and end of a school year to see how much the kids have learned.

The idea has enraged teachers though, and it has sparked a growing boycott with parents saying that their kids are being stressed out by the exams.

Cuomo said he believes they haven’t done a good job of publicizing the fact that the tests, for at least the next five years, won’t count at all for the students.

“They can opt out if they want to, but on the other hand if the child takes the test, it’s practice and the score doesn’t count."

The message from Cuomo:

Hey, parents, these tests don't count for your kids, just for their teachers, so why not send them on in to school to take those state tests so we can start evaluating their teachers via the scores and fire some of them?

Of course this argument is jive.

If the tests are used as bludgeons to close schools and fire teachers, they cause huge anxiety all throughout the school, from the children to the adults.

Kids can see when adults are stressed out or worried about stuff, and you can bet they know that their teachers are worried they're going to lose their jobs based on these test scores.

Cuomo can try and drive a wedge between parents and teachers all he wants by saying the tests don't count for students, only teachers.

The truth is, that's only for a little while - the scores will soon count for children too.

And even if they don't count now, they very much count for the teachers and the schools and that's more than enough to drive up the anxiety levels of everybody in the school.

Then there's the problem that, even if the tests don't count for students yet, there is still much class time that is lost to the actual testing period as well as the test prep.

I can't imagine too many parents are going to be won over by Cuomo's "Hey, the scores don't count for the kids for a couple more years" argument since the entire culture of the school will still be affected by the high stakes surrounding these tests.


  1. Cuomo is a fraud.

  2. Hey parents,
    As per that Crazy Cuomo governor of ours says that the test don't count for your child, it is the more reason why to OPT OUT.

  3. The scores are already counting. On the junior high and especially high school level, many districts are counting the SLO's given in the spring and fall as test grades. So Cuomo is lying on that count.

    In one East End Suffolk district (and probably a ton of others), the tests were being used to determine who was allowed to take honors courses. It was a brazen attempt by an ethically challenged superintendent to force parents into allowing their children to take the tests. Guess what happened? Right! Parents told the superintendent where to go and held their kids out.

    If they tests don't count, why should students spend hours/days taking them?

    Cuomo is a fraud. All he cares about is settling political scores and doing favors for the charter school contributors.

  4. Here's some questions for the governor and chancellor:

    1. If the test doesn't count, why would kids want to take it? Are you that short-sighted that you think kids would want to take a test seriously if it had no bearing on their grade? Get real!

    2. Would you want your future career determined by a meaningless test score? If kids take a test that is used to measure a teacher's effectiveness but is not held against the student's grade, how is that an accurate or fair representation of effort on the student's part? Moreso, how is that a fair assessment of a teacher's effectiveness in the classroom?

    3. Do the governor and/or chancellor have any idea just how much instructional time is lost in the average public school every year to unnecessary testing? Why are we suspending regular instruction for tests that don't count? How about all those other curricular areas that are penalized every time a test is given, i.e., music, physical education, visual arts, library, et al? Testing up the wazoo is depriving kids of a whole education.

    What is plainly apparent is that ARROGANCE replaced commonsense in Albany a long time ago. The last time I looked, America is a democracy YET, the decisions that have been made have been made in a vacuum driven by power-hungry oligarchs whose greed and private $$$$ backing has replaced doing the will of the people. Instead of telling us how everything is right, please explain how "other" ideas expressed by parents and teachers are NEVER the correct answer?

    Public servants have a responsibility to LISTEN, ABSORB and do the will of the people. Only individuals who have already sold their souls are the ones unwilling to listen to the truth and commonsense. It is more than apparent that Albany is out of touch and irrelevant. The people WILL prevail, make no mistake.

    1. Cuomo knows this,,,you cannot be governor of New York and not know this basic deduction regarding testing and what counts and what does not count. Cuomo is blatantly stating that he wants to fire teachers and the tests are the means to the end for this spaghetti eating, red sauce bozo. You know, you cannot mess with people's livelihoods governor. If you continue to have this assault attitude on teachers and schools its going to come back to bite you in the ass big time pizon.

    2. It's "paisan", and your crude, racist statement insults all Italian Americans. Be more careful, avete capito?

  5. Wait. Isn't this statement by Cuomo a big deal? He F'ed up here right!? Kinda big. He's stating clearly and categorically that these tests are being solely used to evaluate teachers. They were never designed for that. The whole (very thin) argument was that they evaluate the students and then that data is used to evaluate us. By Cuomo flagrantly saying that the tests are being used for the sole purpose of evaluating teachers, hasn't he wandered into a swamp here? His big push was always "hey, we need to evaluate the students so we know where we stand!"

    Maybe I'm desperate to see someng here. Isn't he at least fumbling rhetorically? Couldn't any teacher facing a 3020a via APPR drama use Cuomo's quote in their favor??

    Maybe I'm too optimistic here.

    1. “The grades are meaningless to the students,” Cuomo said . . .

      This quote makes me wish I was a lawyer. It is a slam dunk once this mess gets litigated.

      So now the burden of teacher employment rests on the shoulders of 8 year olds?

      We have had students claiming that they will tank the test to get teachers they don't like fired.

      What a healthy learning environment Cuomo has nurtured. His arrogance, vindictiveness, and ignorance have been laid bare for all to see.

  6. Is there any research that suggests it is emotionally healthy for children to have their grades used to decide the fate of adults they love? To suggest taking the test does not count for the child, and subsequently has no effect on the child, shows the depth to which he does not understand children or education.

  7. Parents are standing up indivually--where is the NY State PTA on Common Core and testing? If they will not stand with parents on this issue--who needs them? Where is the NY State School Boards Association in regards to leadership in opposition of these expensive, time consuming and invalid tests? The are led by a man named Tim Kremer--who is often referred to as Timid Kremer. If he is too timid to lead on an issue that should be important to every School Board in the state then tell your district not to join his useless, timid organization!

  8. Wait, if "the grades are meaningless to the students," as our Reptilian Governor contends, then how can they also be a vehicle for "the civil rights movement of our time?"

    The legacy civil rights organizations, leaning on Gates Foundation money, preposterously claim that high stakes tests are necessary to illuminate "the achievement gap," a propaganda term used to scapegoat teachers and public education, while ignoring systemic inequality and poverty. They do this despite the origins and long history of these exams being used to "prove" the "inferiority" of darker races.

    This so-called education reform is one leaky boat, with everyone expected to maintain a perpetual state of Doublethink, whereby the tests are meaningless, except when they are integral to civil rights.

    Someday, when the so-called reformers have been driven back under their rocks, historians and teachers will use the entire sorry episode of the past 20+ years to instruct their students about the dangers of propaganda and fallacies.

    Unless, of course, the so-called reformers win, in which case the brutal Common Core/Testing regime will not permit that kind of teaching.

  9. No child should be subjected to a test that does not count. Chino is a horses a@@.

  10. On last year's second MOSL exam our school gave in May (we gave the first one in October) our school had many students who did not take it seriously. It was ridiculous seeing teachers freak out about this. Many were practically begging students to give it their best shot - I being one of those teachers. Some students couldn't give a crap about the test or the teacher asking for their best effort. As a school we couldn't weight the MOSL as an exam grade and the kids knew it and you bet your ass many didn't take it seriously.

    1. This also happened to a number of teacher at my school.

  11. Cuomo, someone from Preet Bharara's office just called and they want you to be ready for some visitors from downtown. And there was another call from two doctors that want to bring you to a psychiatric hospital.

  12. We need to really keep pushing on all fronts. Everything possible. I really think Cuomo is on the verge of stepping over some lines....rhetorically and hopefully legally. Civilly resisting him seems like it may have some pay-off. I was very loud in the past about how I thought Cuomo won and would continue to win. Reading his comments really leaves me feeling like this thing may really push him into a real ugly corner.

    So, we need to keep it up. Opt Out can fall flat or have a hiccup. Tisch can't be let off the hook....she is just as evil if not more than Cuomo. Our goals need to be FULL victory here. No half-assed thing.

  13. ...meant to say Opt Out CANT fall flat or have a hiccup....

  14. Tests don't count for students only teachers. Actually they count even more for students. Students will lose just as much as the rest of us. They will lose their dedicated caring teachers who will be replaced by inexperienced temporary workers who will never achieve tenure. Ever. They will have their schools closed. Some will be told to take online classes. They will continue to have their buildings overstuffed with charter schools. Their parents tax dollars will end up in the billionaires bank accounts. So the tests don't count for the students?