Evaluate Teachers? Let Students Also Do It

Governor Cuomo has political capital—why waste it on more reliance on standardized testing?

What do you say to that, Education Mayor, Rising Star Governor Cuomo, and Boss Education Commissioner King? Some students in classes taught by these to-be-discarded teachers would like an answer. And, I bet, so would some of their parents.

A New York Times January 28 editorial, “Cuomo’s Slow Education,” quotes from Andrew Cuomo’s recent state of the state address that in his first year up there, he “learned that everyone in public education has his or her own lobbyists. Superintendents have lobbyists. Principals have lobbyists. Teachers have lobbyists. Maintenance personnel have lobbyists. Bus drivers have lobbyists. The only group without lobbyists? The students.”

But there he is, kids, your own big-time lobbyist!


Encouraging the governor to be the students’ lobbyist, the Times notes: “Mr. Cuomo’s approval rating is near 70 percent, which is political capital he could use to take on the education status quo.”

Wait a minute. This most engaging governor since his father, Mario, includes in his lobbying team Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Walcott, and the rest of the city and state enforcers of the status quo!

You have shown, governor, that you’re a learner, but, sir, you have a lot more to learn about education that can change lives and not create more dropouts. I believe you’re serious about this, so start learning how to really learn about it through the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum)—ascd.org—and its daily smartbrief.com. The latter, which I never miss, will educate you about schools, teachers, and even some school systems across the country that do teach teachers how to create lifelong learners.

You have to be an ASCD member to join, but it’s not expensive, and it also provides books, reports, and other challenging evidence that no student need be left behind—of whatever age.

I hope you don’t rely on your staff to tell you what’s on ASCD's daily smart brief. Once you get into it, you’ll never get enough of it.

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the school 'only" has the kids 7 hrs a day ? compare that to the 30 minutes to and hour per week a parent in the modern family spends actually educating or communicating. i enjoyed this article. it reminds me a bit of the author, john taylor gatto, who also despised the grading and testing he was forced to do as a nyc teacher.

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Let get real. Education is not about education but containment. The power that be doesn't want to educate black and brown children to compete with white kids for scare jobs that are headed to China. Schools for other people children is mostly a pipeline for the prison and wlefare system when 50 percent of African students fail to graduate. and 50 percent of those who go to college.

Nick Jordan
Nick Jordan

This is COMPLETELY false -- I work endlessly to improve my students writing, their comprehension, and their critical thinking skills in my Language Arts class. Trust me, the kids know who is 'really' teaching versus who is just posing whenever the evaluators are in the room. I think this is a pretty good idea -- but don't start spewing forth this kind of stuff about 'all' teachers because I really love my job and try to make a difference.

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