This week in education farces, the powers that be announced that they would be reducing testing by 0.34 percent. Seriously?
Numerous educated citizens know the ludicrous meter has risen to all new heights.
So much wrong with this. It was allegedly 2.34% of class time already. So that’s a decrease of 0.34 percent. Seriously?
And, remember when they said no testing before grade 3? Surely never in K or —gasp—- pre k.
Americans are not fooled.
Here in New York, parents and teachers are angry. Governor Cuomo has supported and made worse these abusive practices, that cause immeasurable suffering to our children and teachers.
Dr. John Metallo submits the following;
CUOMO ADMITS THAT HIS EDUCATION PLAN HAS FAILED
In a statement dated October 24, 2015, New York State Governor Cuomo admitted that there is too much testing in New York State’s public schools and that testing needs to be curbed immediately. The governor said, in part, “I agree with President Obama and Secretary Duncan that we must reverse the overemphasis on testing that has become the norm in too many of our schools…”
It is almost laughable to hear this rhetoric coming from the same politico who at one time felt that teacher evaluations across the state should be based sixty percent upon student test results. For years I have been writing articles that indicate that Cuomo’s plan will fail, and now I have the opportunity to say, I TOLD YOU SO, and it feels really good. One of my recent articles was entitled….
WHY CUOMO’S SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN WILL FAIL
The Governor’s plan will fail because he is trying to attain the impossible. He wants all students to succeed at a
predetermined level. While we would all like to see that happen, it is time to admit that it cannot and will not happen.
Now that the failure of the Governor’s plan is a matter of public record, it is time to get him out of the business of education once and for all. For years, his wrongheaded plans have hurt the schools of the state, our teachers, and most of all our students. At the same time, he has managed to waste millions of taxpayer dollars in the process. He is the one who came up with this plan, and he needs to take the blame for it. His about face on the topic is not enough.
Last spring, parents kept nearly 200,000 students out of state testing on the elementary level as a form of civil disobedience to protest the governor’s plan to evaluate teachers and schools using the results of student tests in his quest to “take on the education bureaucracy” in the state. The truth is that there is NO RESEARCH to back using student test scores to evaluate teachers. Cuomo did not want to evaluate teachers, he wanted to punish them.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the federal and state plan to improve public schools has wasted billions of dollars while resulting in no improvement. History tells us that school improvement efforts on the federal and state levels are exercises in futility. For example, there have been a number of federal initiatives targeting school improvement over the years, and they have all failed including the National Defense Education Act 1957, The Carnegie Report: A Nation at Risk 1984, America 2000 1992, No Child Left Behind 2001; and now we are experiencing the failure of President Obama’s Race to The Top initiative. There is also no research that supports massive school improvement efforts on the national or state level. On the contrary, research indicates that improvement must be made on the local school district, building and classroom levels. Thus the political approach was always destined to fail.
History aside, the Governor’s plan has failed because he was trying to attain the impossible. He wanted all students to succeed at a predetermined level which quite frankly is out of the grasp of some students. While the Governor wants to blame teachers for the lack of student achievement, he is patently missing the mark. The teacher is only part of the teaching/learning experience, albeit a very important part, but the teacher only teaches. The other side of the equation is the student or learner. That person is as important, if not more important than the teacher. In order to avoid a fire-storm, the Governor and other politicos are quick to never mention students or parents as part of the achievement gap problem. Thus, their attempts at school improvement are doomed to failure. Schools cannot do it alone…ever.
Cuomo knows nothing about public education, and it is instantly obvious to anyone who has followed his foolish attempts at school reform. He lacks first hand knowledge of the instructional process and his goal has never been the improvement of instruction, rather, his agenda is to attack teachers and to paint them with the brush of failure. A wise man once taught me to be very careful in pointing a finger of blame because in doing so, one points three fingers back at himself. In this case the Governor’s three fingers are pointing at the person responsible for the debacle that New York State public schools have become….HIMSELF!
Contributed by Dr. John Metallo, Slingerlands, NY (retired
teacher, administrator. Among the positions he has held are principal of Albany High School and adjunct instructor at the University at Albany and SUNY Plattsburgh.) (518) 577-7530 firstname.lastname@example.org)