I’m expected, I suppose, to comment on the settlement reached between New York State United Teachers, the State Education Department and Governor Cuomo which essentially clarifies an existing law that provided for the evaluation of teachers, tying their evaluations in part to the performance of their students on state and local assessments. In a sentence, a stupid law has been made more clearly stupid while apparently increasing the power of the numbskulls in the State Education Department to reject evaluation plans that are laboriously negotiated at the local level. So, three cheers for the clarification of stupidity. It’s enough to make me puke seeing the praise Cuomo is getting for the basic part of which he had absolutely nothing to do with. I can’t wait for the day when teachers get their evaluations and find themselves reduced to an absolutely meaningless number.
I find myself thinking about a story two teachers told me the other day. A male elementary physical education teacher came upon a little boy who had defecated all over himself. The poor child was distraught and almost inconsolable. The teacher immediately took him to the bathroom and helped him begin to clean himself up, telling the child that the same thing had happened to him when he was young and assuring him that he and everyone else would soon forget all about this embarrassment. Their conversation was overheard by another teacher who immediately came to help. She quickly realized that they had to get the child some clean underwear, but none was to be had in the school. Living locally and having a child of roughly the same age, she ran and grabbed her coat, got into her car, drove home and back with a choice of underwear for the sobbing boy – boxers or briefs. What kind of ignorance rewards teachers like these by reducing their contribution to the all-around welfare of children with a number?