A Teachable Moment

Former local teacher union pesident Morty Rosenfeld periodically attempts to make sense of the increasingly senseless world of public education.

Opt-Out Alive and Well in New York

It looks like it will be another good year for the rebellion against the testocracy in New York. The first part of the ELA Exam administered this week was skipped by over 50 percent of Long Island students. Long Island has been the epicenter of the Opt-Out Movement in our state. It’s encouraging to see the continuing commitment of parents to demand that their children not be subjected to test driven education. We can expect to see even higher the opt-out rates on the soon to be given math exams.

With Governor Cuomo up for re-election and challenged in his own party by Cynthia Nixon, NYSUT, our state teacher union, appears to be exerting maximum pressure on the Governor to change the law linking state test results to teacher evaluation. While Cuomo has been lining up union support throughout the state, he hasn’t yet gotten NYSUT’s which he is known to crave. Remember, it was Cuomo who in a different political environment gave us test based teacher evaluations in the first place. Challenged now from his left and with an eye on the 2020 presidential race, the endorsement of the state’s largest union has a luster to Cuomo that it didn’t have before, suggesting that the time is right for a deal ending test based teacher accountability once and for all. While most union members will not be thrilled with an endorsement of Cuomo, most will recognize their self-interest in making the deal.

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