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Friday, March 14, 2014

If the Governor Wants to Use Toxic CCSS Test Scores to Evaluate NYS Teachers, Why Not Use Them to Evaluate the Governor, Too?

There will be a new round of Common-Core aligned state tests this April.  I recommend refusal as a form of protest, if nothing else.  Last year, the cut scores were set to slaughter NYS students, perhaps, in the hopes that the result might lead to parental panic, educational privatization and profitmaking.  Pearson, working with the State and using highly questionable interpretations of college-ready NAEP, SAT and PSAT data, designed tests with cut scores manipulated to achieve the desired effect (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/08/12/how-come-officials-could-predict-results-on-new-test-scores/). 

Back in 2013, Commissioner King had predicted a 30% drop in test scores.   In November 2012, Regent Meryl Tisch had said, "We would not be surprised if we saw the scores come down.  If as a result of a new standard, temporary dip in the performance on standardized tests, I would welcome that temporary dip as a way of taking us to a place where we know we really need to go."  She is the same regent who stated, it is time "for students to jump into the deep end of the pool."  Now that we see so many good students suddenly struggling to swim and some drowning in these shark-infested waters, wouldn't it be a breath of fresh air this Spring if King and Tisch would make predictions and actually be wrong?

Perhaps the 2014 tests will be easier.  It is a politically-charged year.  Would Cuomo want to risk losing the vote of 70% of NYS parents who might blame him?  Governor Cuomo is on the campaign trail now.   Will he dub himself the "Education Mayor"?  Cuomo has criticized the very unpopular implementation of the Common Core; he will distance himself from its toxicity as much as possible while still supporting the Core.  He says he does not want the 2013 scores to count against students.  Yet, he apparently has no qualms about letting the scores count against their teachers.  Go figure!  Go figure APPR!  Go figure APPR and fire some teachers!  If that's the case, then I say let the scores count against the Governor, too!

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