Saturday, April 18, 2015

In Response To Peter Goodman
By:  Jamy Brice Hyde and Marla Kilfoyle

 On April 17th Blogger Peter Goodman wrote a piece where he called the new New York State evaluation system a significant improvement.  

We disagree!

This is not better and to even entertain that anything remotely associated with 2015 Education legislation in NYS to be couched as an improvement is to neglect the facts.

The new plan has removed any control we had to locally and collectively bargain on behalf of our members APPR. This MATRIX sets up teachers of special needs or poverty stricken schools with poor test takers for a two to three year exit from our profession with a 3020a/3020b that is mandated by the state! Even if a district would like to keep a teacher they are not given local control over personnel issues. Unions have even lost the ability to fight for them.

This Matrix will destroy the joy of learning creativity and innovation in our classrooms. Frankly most teachers will teach to the test in order to reach retirement.

The reports of the contents of the ELA exams last week provide evidence that the tests are designed for massive failures.  For example,  a 6th grader is expected to read a 1415 on the Kincaid scale! We must ask what are we measuring? We are measuring nothing of value for the children except creating enormous anxiety among children and preparing for the mass exodus of teachers from the profession, specifically our veteran teachers.

 Parents have been provoked to massively opt out their children from these tests due to the apparent insanity of current public education policy. Social Workers are reporting that their largest growing demographic is elementary school age kids with anxiety issues. Teachers are humbled by the number of parents that opted their children out of testing in support of locally controlled classrooms that are run by their highly qualified teachers.

 The toxicity of education policy in NYS is systemic. WE cannot entertain anyone that refers to an improvement here in NYS. That dialogue belongs nowhere near the abhorrent policy being pushed upon  public education in NY. This is creating a system to privatize education and DESTROY our unions. On first “blush” this policy made teachers convulse, on second read it made many ill on the third read it made teachers very angry and mobilized them to fight harder against these reforms.

 Don’t give props to anything that tries to sanitize one of the most toxic education policies in the country - the Cuomo Education Transformation Act of 2015.

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