It took long enough, but in the end, New York’s public school students won an important victory last week when the teachers union and Governor Cuomo came to an agreement on a new teacher-evaluation system.
The most immediate benefit is easy to measure: With an evaluation system in place, the state moved closer to qualifying for $700 million in federal aid through President Obama’s “Race to the Top” funding mechanism. The feds were threatening to withhold the money if New York did not implement a required evaluation system. While the state still may have to clear up other issues before qualifying for the aid, it’s clear that the evaluation system is a major step in the race to the top.
No more excuses. No more delays. No more double-talk. The time for changing the status quo in New York’s public schools is now. The teachers union will either be part of the process or will be crushed. It’s really that simple.
Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo have made it clear that they no longer will accept the union’s reactionary worldview that change is unnecessary. In separate speeches this week, Mr. Cuomo correctly noted that “we have to realize that our schools are not an employment program,” while the mayor argued that the “school system shouldn’t be run for the people that work in the school system.”
Both of the statements should seem obvious. To the union leaders who claim to represent the city’s public school teachers, the remarks by the governor and the mayor are nothing short of revolutionary. And it’s a revolution they continue to resist.
Poor performing schools, relics of 20th-century neglect, ought to close. Charter schools, beacons of hope in many poor neighborhoods, should be encouraged.
This may seem like common sense. But for the teachers union and, regrettably, for the New York chapter of the NAACP, these ideas are heresy. That’s why they joined forces to sue the Read More
New Yorkers have become accustomed to good news from the city’s public schools in recent years. Now, however, there is concern that some of the warm-and-fuzzy headlines about improving test scores and graduation rates were based on some dubious math.
A suspiciously high number of students have received the minimum passing grade on the state’s Read More
Over the weekend the The New York Times Magazine featured a story on the pretty much the luckiest bunch of middle schoolers ever. The students at Quest to Learn. a digitally focused academy on East 23rd, spend their days playing video games, hanging out in a giant virtual reality laboratory and Read More