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!

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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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