Friday, April 24, 2015

Merryl Wants an Extension

No, not on her mansion. Merry Tisch doesn't want to put Governor Cuomo's draconian evaluation system into effect next November, and prefers to wait until September 2016.  While Cuomo's minions are spitting out objections, the delay could be a great thing. For one thing, there will be yet another budget vote, and Cuomo could conceivably be even more unpopular then than he is now.

Personally, I don't think Merryl Tisch gives a golly gosh darn about the quality of education, or whether or not teachers are fired for no reason. Otherwise, she would lean toward positions that weren't insane. This not being the case, it begs the question--why is Merryl asking for more time? Could it be, as she says, that she needs more time to develop a system that works? Well, if she really wanted a system that worked, why would she have hitched her string of pearls to a junk science plan at all?

One of Merryl's most recent inanities entailed exempting high performing districts from the junk science plan. This may have worked to her benefit, as some of the largest opt-out voices come from such districts. Perhaps Merryl wanted to shut down some of these voices. This idea was not well-received, what with it being blatantly discriminatory and all, and inconvenient for Governor Andy to explain.

But think about what will happen in Scarsdale when Ms. Friendly, the best teacher on God's green earth, is fired because her 98% students slipped down to 97, and she therefore displayed negative value. What if not only that happened, but the independent evaluator took exception to the cut of her jib, and jabbed her jib with an ineffective rating? What happens when the beloved special education teacher is fired because his students have learning disabilities that impeded their tests? Was it his fault the independent evaluator doesn't know a special ed. class from a very special episode of Punky Brewster?

Some people might object when Governor Andy starts firing teachers for no reason. It could get even more inconvenient than those darn opt-outs. After all, programs like this one have failed spectacularly all over the country, and some are rolling back the misplaced reforminess. New York is swimming against the tide full speed ahead, and it could be a bumpy ride. It's one thing if someone like me gets fired for the offense of repeatedly teaching kids who don't speak English. It's another when people start not only noticing the blithering incompetence and ignorance of Merryl and her gang of corporate test enthusiasts, but also rising up in great numbers against them. And then there's her impending re-election, or not, come next April.

With the huge increases in opt-out, it's pretty clear NY State is waking up. I certainly hope this hurtful and destructive program is put off. That would give us a chance to actively lobby for something that makes sense, or at least more sense than the current fire union teachers program.

I don't care if Merryl is motivated by the right reasons, the wrong reasons, no reason at all, or the voices in her head. Delay is the next best thing to killing this awful bill, and I for one am willing to give the sleazeballs of the Heavy Hearts Club and opportunity to redeem their vile and worthless souls.
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