At least courts see things clearly

Well, hooray for the court ruling yesterday that teachers should not be evaluated so heavily on standardized tests.

Here’s the link to NYSUT’s statement that also, if you look to the right, links to one union’s view about teacher evaluation done right, and also the story outlining why NYSUT sued the Regents and State Ed in the first place.

This is not over as the state is going to appeal, which is …  too bad. (Yes, I have other adjectives, but in this litigious society, it’s just what happens.) Hasn’t anyone else read about cheating scandals? Isn’t anyone else reading the reports that detail all the problems with overreliance on standardized tests? Here’s a link to just a few of the many studies and reports by universities and scholars and such.

What do you think about the ruling?



  1. Martin Messner August 25, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    It seems that the law is very clear. I still don’t understand why the Regents and King thought they could just ignore it and do whatever they want. I also don’t understand why the state would spend more money on the courts to appeal when we already are short billions of dollars in the system.

    I would be interested to find out how many tax dollars state ed has already wasted on lawyers and court fees.

  2. William J. Sheldon August 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    I applaud NYSUT’s efforts on getting the important parts of the teacher evaluation law repealed. Any one who has spent considerable time in the classroom knows that it is ridiculous to hinge a teacher’s evaluation on 1 standardized test. I question the Board of Regents credentials, to be perfectly honest.

    I’ve taught for a small urban school district for the past 5 years. During this time I have worked in an alternative learning program. Quite frankly, I work with students that have attendance issues. As any teacher (and administrator) knows, you can’t teach an empty seat. Though many students in this program have experienced success and gone on to earn a high school diploma, on the flip side of this 45 record, many don’t. Many don’t care to learn what is being taught…what is being required to learn in NYS. These students lack motivation, suffer from a lack of parental involvement, and/or appear to have better things to do than come to school. I wonder how this will be taken into account when my yearly summative evaluation is done? Many of these students miss 50-80 days of school (or more), and still decide to show up for a Regents test anyways, and of course they fail. This is my fault?

    I had a conversation with a colleague recently in which this person shared with me that she didn’t think it was fair to hold her responsible for students failing a regents test when they do little or no work, skip school, and take the test and fail it. How’s this her fault? How should this be reflected on her annual summative evalution? That, my friend, is the 64,000 dollar question.

    I don’t know how long many of my colleagues, as well as myself, will be employed in the education field. This new evaluation system seems to be weighted against teachers: it appears that members of the NYS Board of Regents want to get rid of teachers. Many may not agree with what I just wrote, but I believe in the idea that, “it is what it is.” I feel that everything is weighted against me and any other teacher that chooses to work with at-risk alternative students. Believe me, I’m no dummy. I’m a class valedictorian. I’ll be writing back to you within 2 years time telling you how I was “let go” due to the new evaluation system. Problem is that no one will want to work with these kids when they know what will happen.

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