LYNBROOK, NY–March 28th, 2015–Teachers and others rallied across Long Island on Merrick Road from Valley Stream to West Islip in attempt to draw attention to what they perceive as an attack on public education and teachers.
Cuomo’s plan would allow standardized test scores to account for 50% of a teacher’s evaluation while the other 50% will be based on school officials observations.
Lisa Zindman, a third grade teacher from West End, agrees. “We feel this is unfair,” she said. “Most teacher’s support common core, but it was rolled out the wrong way.”
The teacher’s also argued that a corporation called Pearson makes up the tests that they are evaluated on and that they have nothing to do with education. Many said that they believed that this was just about money. Some even suggested that this plan was made because Cuomo was not supported in his election by the teachers union, NYSUT..
Leah Brunski writes in her blog for the nation, “As a public-school teacher, I want to be evaluated. But there are much more effective ways to do it. The countries and states that consistently outperform New York on standardized assessments—Finland, Japan, Massachusetts, among others—have successful evaluation systems in place that could help shape New York’s. In these places, test-score gains play no role in a teacher’s evaluation. Instead, multiple measures are used to evaluate the efficacy of a teacher’s performance: principal and peer observations, student and family feedback, professional development. Why not borrow a page from corporate America’s playbook to provide teachers with a 360-degree view of their performance?”
Dave Aiello, a 4th grade teacher in Lynbrook, assured me that they weren’t protesting against common core but against Governor Cuomo’s policies. “This is to stop the attack on public education,” he said of the rally. He remarked that Cuomo’s plan was a ploy to implement charter schools. “That will kill democracy.”
The New York State Legislature is set to vote on these proposed changes on April 1st.