Governor Cuomo Says State Tests Are “Meaningless,” So Why Should Students Do Their Best?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn’t understand why students should opt out of state testing, because the tests won’t count against students. Instead, they will be used to rank and evaluate teachers. So, he wonders, why should students opt out?

But the governor is not recognizing the consequences of his statement. As one blogger asked, why should students take the tests if they are meaningless?

That is a good reason to opt out. Why should students waste their time on tests that are meaningless?

But more important, if the students are not motivated to do their best, if they know the tests don’t count, why should teachers be evaluated by their students’ lack of effort? Taking a test is not like stepping on a scale. The scores vary depending on many factors, not least of which is motivation. If students go into the tests knowing they don’t matter, why should they try?

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An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo: Re-think the Regs of APPR

Granted, and...

Dear Governor Cuomo:

I have my whole professional educational life been a supporter of teacher accountability. And, as you may know, I sided publicly with the findings in your recent report on the sham of current local teacher effectiveness ratings in New York schools and districts.

However, I have long written and consulted on the need for transparency in assessment and accountability via released tests after they are given – as the Regents did for over 100 years until recently. You simply cannot expect people to trust a system in which the scores are psychometrically generated and where I cannot see, for myself, what was assessed and what the actual results were. It fails as both credible accountability and as feedback to teachers.

More bluntly: Would you accept such a system for yourself?

The cardinal rule in Quality Control as formulated by Edwards Deming is Drive Out Fear. Alas, a…

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Gov. Cuomo needs to hear from YOU

Below are some actions members can take. Please read the whole memo. There are some “Important Ground Rules” to follow which will help keep members safe.

If you have any questions, please contact the office.

 

Dear Activist,

On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo will present his budget when he gives his State of the State address. It is no secret that we are under attack by the governor. For us to win the public must hear the voices of teachers. And when I say the voices of teachers, I am contrasting that with the voice of the union. Governor Cuomo and the public need to hear from typical members – everyday classroom teachers, SRPs, retirees, and educators in higher education. In short, they need to hear from you.

That is why I am asking that all of us get out on social media between now and April 1st, the budget deadline, to call out Cuomo and tell him what our schools, students, and communities really need for public education in New York.

Get Ready!

  • Sign up for the NYSUT MAC. You can sign up online for email updates at: https://mac.nysut.org or you can download the NYSUT MAC App for your iPhone or for your Android phone.
  • Get text blasts. You can get our NYSUT Member Action Center text alerts sent right to your phone by texting the word NYSUT to the number 38470.
  • Like us on Facebook at the NYSUT Action Center. www.facebook.com/NYSUTActionCenter
  • Join Twitter. Looking for messages to retweet? Follow @NYSUT on Twitter twitter.com/NYSUT
  • Help create a social media army by helping other members sign up on social media.

Take Action!

  • Join the debate. As you are getting out of school on Wednesday, Facebook and Twitter will be lighting up with comments about Cuomo’s teacher-bashing proposals. Join that conversation on Wednesday!
  • #InviteCuomo . Governor Cuomo has rarely stepped foot in a New York State public school so we want to invite him to attend the NYSUT-sponsored Community Forums on Public Education. Let’s invite him into the community to hear from teachers, parents, students, administrators and community members about what we need for public education. Tweet out an invite directly at him and be sure to include the hashtag: #InviteCuomo if you want your tweet to be seen and heard.
  • #AllKidsNeed – Highlight the inequities and lack of resources hurting New York State public schools by using the hashtag #AllKidsNeed. Tell the governor and the public what your students need – more science labs, music and art classes, school libraries, smaller class sizes and more. Many of your colleagues around the state have already begun tweeting using this hashtag. Retweet their tweets and write your own!

Important ground rules for personal social media:

  • Don’t post photos of your students.
  • Don’t communicate with currently enrolled students.
  • Engage before and after the school day and during your lunch hour — not during your work day.
  • Review your district’s guidance for using personal social media.

I know that together we can succeed when we all stand together as ONE union.