Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On Junk Science Evaluation--Garbage In, Garbage Out

Shockingly, NY State is encountering problems with its new evaluation system. According to Newsday, teachers can rate effective in test passing percentages, yet rate developing overall. Alas, such are the exigencies of a system that is created based on wishful thinking and a desire to fire teachers for no particular reason.

Actually, what is shocking about this story is not that there are problems with APPR, but rather that the state admitted it. It's been pretty much standard fare for Reformy John King and Silent Merryl Tisch to nod their wooden heads, offer minor and insubstantial tweaks, and then go on their merry way. Governor Andrew Cuomo has staked his educational reputation on junk science, and believes in it deeply. Teachers must be rated by untested Common Core tests and judged by junk science, or he will have forsaken his self-appointed post as student lobbyist.

After all, Cuomo is doing his part to make sure we don't raise taxes on the rich or fritter away money paying teachers, and he'd rather assign the death penalty to schools with low test scores than fund them adequately. It makes for good sound bites on the news, and it makes Governor Andy popular with deep-pocketed folks like DFER, but it doesn't help our kids.

Sadly, demagogues like Andy Cuomo earn support not only from astroturfers and would-be robber barons, but also top faux-Democrats like Barack Obama, who happily allow their subordinates to cheer baseless school closings and ignore blatant misdeeds on Wall Street. This is the new Democratic Party, the one that leaves working people bleeding on the street while ensuring rich people don't pay another cent. With Democrats like Cuomo and Obama, I sometimes wonder why we need Republicans.

Of course, in NY State, it's tough to imagine a GOP candidate unseating Cuomo. Not only that, but it's also tough to imagine a GOP candidate that would favor working people any more than Cuomo. So it appears we haven't got a whole lot of choice here in NY State.

This notwithstanding, the fact is New Yorkers have had enough of Common Core nonsense, and all over the state parents and teachers told King and Tisch the same story (with the exception of one NYC session taken over by astroturf Students First NY). It's unfortunate that it's taken developmentally inappropriate instruction based on nothing to wake up our residents, but the fact is we know it's NOT true that 70% of our kids are failing to learn.

What will it take before pols like Cuomo listen to the will of the people rather than that of the hedge-fund dabblers in public education?
blog comments powered by Disqus