File this under “least surprising news of the year”. A story in The Journal News reports that New York’s teacher evaluation system is pretty much a failure and a waste of millions and millions of dollars.
“Our fears were realized,” said Harrison Superintendent Louis Wool, who was president of the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents when the study was started in the spring. “The first round of assessments did not accurately measure the value of teachers whose students are in poverty, in special education or speak limited English. We are concerned that we have spent countless hours and millions and millions of dollars to produce results that are not comparable across the state and do not inform teacher practice or student learning.”
Countless hours and millions of dollars, not to mention the fear and intimidation that has become prevalent in many schools throughout the state as teachers are bullied into teaching explicitly to the state tests.
Bruce Baker, a Rutgers professor and expert on school finance adds…
“For the state to continue to enforce these measures in the face of contradictory evidence is over-the-top ridiculous.”
Ah, but this is New York. Home of corporate reform-loving plutocrats like Merryl Tisch, corrupt politicians like Andrew Cuomo, and their lackey John King. They’re not going to let things as inconsequential as evidence, wasted time, or wasted tax payer dollars stand in the way of corporate reforms. The show must go on!
King, responding to NYSUT’s call for a three-year moratorium on using high stakes testing to evaluate teachers, called the request a distraction and added, “We all agreed to the evaluation system: the governor, the Legislature, NYSUT and the state Education Department. We committed to the evaluation system knowing that we were going to implement the evaluation system alongside a change in the standards through the work on the Common Core.”
Which brings us to another question. Why is NYSUT, the AFT, and the UFT calling for a three-year moratorium? A garbage evaluation system today will still be garbage in three years. Junk science is junk science. What really should have happened is that they never should have agreed to an evaluation system that evaluates teachers based on standardized test scores.
But alas, they did and we are stuck with a system that a study now proves does not work.