Monday, December 2, 2013

Sheriff Andy Cuomo Does the Politician's Favorite Dance - The Back Pedal Two Step

I doubt if anyone in the inner Cuomosphere had the foresight or the stones to warn Sheriff Andy about his aggressive meddling in public education. It appears his retinue has a Michael Jacksonesque silence about it wherein anyone who wants to keep their place at the big table refrains from offering constructive criticism of the Man Who Would Be President. In May of 2011 Sheriff Andy wrote to Dowager Empress Tisch and instructed her "Full Speed Ahead and Damn the Torpedoes." You can read the entire bluster HERE but for our purposes this little snippet sums it up nicely: 

Increase the percentage of statewide objective data, like measuring student growth on statewide test scores, used to evaluate teacher performance;
Impose rigorous classroom observation and other subjective measures standards on school districts when evaluating teacher performance;
Require a positive teacher evaluation rating be given only when the teacher receives a combined positive rating on both subjective and objective measures, such as student growth on statewide tests; and,
Accelerate the implementation of the evaluation system.

 Governor Cuomo Demands Accountability from Teachers  -- Not so Much from Himself Though

Hear that fellow pedagogues? Your evaluation is to be based as much as possible on standardized test scores of tests created by Pearson Inc. who produced the shockingly moronic Pineapple and the Hare selection the year before. Read here how the author of the piece, Mr. Pinkwater, wonders why NYSED would make an exam question of his nonsensical piece of fiction. As usual John King rushed in to blame teachers claiming they reviewed it and in its larger context it made perfect sense.The NY Times article found some critics who weren't buying King's rationale though: But more than a dozen eighth graders interviewed Friday unanimously disputed Mr. King’s assessment, saying that two of the six questions were barely rational. (All six are being thrown out.)

Along with basing a larger part of your APPR on pointless, ill constructed Pearson products, Sheriff Andy is also calling for more accountability from them teachers. He wants to see more guns and spurs swaggering through the classrooms checking for Word Walls, Data Charts, Level Window Blinds and other Best Practices nobody uses or has any use for and that's exactly why NYSED wants to play "Gotcha" with them. If you don't hear the attempt to intimidate you maybe you need to do a Common Core "close reading of Andy's missive, say reading it about 28 times and taking careful notes on any shifts you detect. 

If you don't see the term VAM in bullet #3 it might be because some brave soul tipped off the star of Pennsylvania Avenue's Apprentice show that he should avoid such a loaded term. The hallucinogenic calculations of the VAM are so bizarre and the idea of grading you on something that happened in a previous year under another teacher's care is so far fetched that Andy played it smart and instead called it "student growth on statewide tests." In case you've never see it here's an article by a math guy who demolishes the notion that VAM scores can be reliably used to rate teachers and offers a litany of reasons why it's bad math and even worse policy. 

Six months later this same aspiring POTUS announced he was the self appointed "lobbyist for students" and as any good hack will do immediately created a "Commission" of philandering moneyed fuck ups like Dick Parsons and Lisa Belzberg sprinkled with a handful of Professorial types, a Democrat for Ed Reform or two some Bain Capital weasels and a shitload of "Ed Reformers." His commission did not include one public school teacher, principal or Superintendent. They traveled from the Island to the Skills to Buffaltucky and back in much the same bored, tuned out, yeah, yeah, yeah manner as King and Tisch are doing as we speak. And in the end there was no money to implement any of their nonsense so, like King's so called "Listening Tour" it was nothing but a P.R. gesture designed to quiet the proles by letting them think if they popped off and rattled their chains a bit someone might actually be listening. 

And now that his bullying and behind the scenes fast tracking have taken root and blossomed into a giant backlash the Man Who Would Be POTUS is trying desperately to sever all ties with his handiwork. He is desperate to put as much sunlight as possible between him, Common Core and NYSED. Reminds me of that obnoxious kid at the beach who goes after the bees nest in the showers with his towel and somehow thinks he shouldn't be stung 50 times after snapping the thing in half. Well take your stings like a man Andy, same as you expect all of these kids and teachers and parents to do.  Listen to this classic bit of political doubletalk as Andrew Cuomo struggles to swat the swarming bees away from him :

Thanks to Port Jefferson Station Teacher's Union Page for the meme

“I’ve heard quite a bit from the parents who are very concerned about Common Core,” Cuomo told reporters after an event on Staten Island. “It’s part of a national curriculum that the national experts say is actually going to be beneficial.

“But there’s no doubt that there are significant elements, at least in the transition, that are problematic,” he continued.

“It’s actually a decision that the state Education Department is going to make, which ironically, although the state Education Department does not report to the governor … it’s something we’re watching very closely,” he (Cuomo) said. “And it’s something that might be the subject of legislative changes next year. But it’s not anything that I control, so we are watching.”

Great to know you're watching Governor. So are we. And from what we see things aren't looking real good for you and your girl picking out curtains for the Lincoln bedroom any time soon. 

1 comment:

  1. It is bad to see that more than 70% of New Yorkers think the education has either stayed the same or gotten worst. Lisa