Cuomo fails test on the state education

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion For the past several years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a number of wrong-headed plans to evaluate public schools and school teachers. He had tried mightily to link teacher evaluation to student standardized test scores and has failed in every attempt. This was done at the exact same time that testing experts warned against using standardized tests in this manner and many colleges stopped using standardized tests as a measure for admission.In other words, Cuomo has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to solve a problem that he created. From the moment he took office, Cuomo launched an all-out attack on the state’s schools and the teachers who work in them. He cut state aid by $1.2 billion in his first budget while pushing through a tax cap that resulted in school districts across the state cutting thousands of teaching positions while eliminating countless instructional and extracurricular positions. He demonized teachers, blaming them for students not attaining the preordained scores on standardized tests as part of his nonsensical teacher evaluation systems. He proclaimed that schools that didn’t live up to his expectations be given the “death penalty,” including the firing of all teachers and administrators assigned to these schools. At the same time, he extended the time teachers needed to serve in order to earn tenure, while threatening to withhold state aid (read tax dollars) from school districts that didn’t pass muster. His actions caused teachers to retire in record numbers over the past five years. At the same time, student applications to teacher preparation programs plummeted. Voila — teacher shortage. The state Legislature is considering a bill that will prevent the linking of teacher evaluation and student test scores as the basis of judging the effectiveness of teachers. This is the smartest move for education out of Albany in the past decade. John MetalloSlingerlandsThe author is a retired teacher and administrator, principal of Albany High School and adjunct instructor at the University at Albany and SUNY Plattsburgh.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Albany County warns of COVID increaseEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img

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