The New York Board of Regents voted this week to delay teacher evaluations that are associated with the Common Core State Standards. This was just one of the 21 recommendations made by the the New York Common Core Task Force that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week.
Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, at her request, the Regents voted to rescind the policy that links standardized test results with teacher performance reviews. This will reverse a policy put in place by Governor Cuomo and the state legislature less than a year ago. Elia called it a “transition period,” until other issues associated with Common Core can be more thoroughly worked out.
All of the Regents voted in favor of the change except the board’s Chancellor, Meryl Tisch, who voted no. Tisch championed fast-track adoption of the Common Core. She is not seeking re-election to her seat when her term expires early in 2016.
The vote came just days after a task force appointed by Governor Cuomo quietly issued a report that also recommended a reversal of the new teacher evaluation policy. The advice represents a major shift from earlier in the year when Governor Cuomo forcefully pushed new performance reviews for teachers, slated to begin this school year, that would depend more heavily on standardized test results.
Now will they act on the other recommendations and will they just offer a shoddy rebrand? Also instead of just delaying linking teacher evaluations the New York Regents should respect local control and allow schools evaluate teachers in a way that makes sense for them. At the very least they should give up the notion of linking the evaluations to assessments because all they will ensure then is that teachers will help their students be great test-takers. That doesn’t ensure a quality education.