The hedge fund financed and supported Governor has proposed an education agenda that comes straight out of the corporate deformer playbook that intends to destroy the unions and make the classroom teacher a temporary occupation. Of course, the ultimate goal is to make teaching a temporary profession with no pension and retiree health benefits and making "due process" a joke. Now that the recession is receding, the ranks of teachers are thinning with fewer and fewer candidates going into teaching and the boomer teachers retiring in droves due to the continued demonetization of the profession, you would think the Governor would want to attract highly skilled applicants to teach in New York State. However, that's not the case and this has not stopped the Governor in attacking teachers and trying to remove as many teachers as possible, despite the looming teacher shortage.
The Perdido Street blog published the 22 point breakdown of the Governor's education agenda and 11 of them are downright dangerous to teachers and their students, I hope to explain why.
- Adjust the APPR sub-components to be 50 points on state tests and 50 points on Other Measures.
- Thirty-five points of Other Measures will be determined by independent evaluators.
- Have the state set the scoring bands for both student growth and observations.
- If a teacher is rated ineffective in either portion, then the total score cannot be effective or highly effective.
- Tenure granted when a teacher achieves five consecutive years of effective or highly effective ratings.
- Expedited hearings (maximum time of 60 days) extended to cases of accused physical or sexual abuse of a child. Teacher’s charged with abuse will be suspended without pay pending the outcome of the hearing. If a teacher is convicted of a violent felony against a child, he/she will automatically have his/her certification revoked.
- If a teacher receives two ineffective ratings in a row, the teacher would only be able to rebut this strong indication of incompetence by “clear and convincing evidence” that the calculation of one of the ratings was fraudulent.
- Eliminate the legal requirement that districts must attempt to “rehabilitate” teachers who are incompetent or engage in misconduct.
- Remove the requirement that children must testify in person. Allow them to testify via sworn written or video statements.
- When a school is determined to be failing for three years, a non-profit, another school district, or a turnaround expert must take over the school. This is similar to the Massachusetts Model. New York has 178 “priority schools".
- Raise the charter school cap from 460 to 560 and make it statewide not restricted by region. New York City only has 24 charter applications remaining under its cap;
- Pass the $100 million Education Tax Credit for public and private scholarships to promote choice in education.
To try to ensure the Governor gets his way, he has dangled an extra $1.1 billion dollars or 4.8% to the school districts. Of course, he owns the very same school districts $7 billion dollars.