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Powerful Video: Future of New York State Education

April 4, 2015

On March 31, 2015, the New York State Assembly proved that budgeting well takes a back seat to “budgeting badly but on time.”

rotten apple

Even before the official vote was taken, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie knew that the budget would pass the Democrat-controlled Assembly because “the people of this state want an on-time budget.”

So, according to Heastie,  it’s “the people” who “want” politicians to tell New York schools how to evaluate teachers– just so long as the screwy budget that also relieves New York’s wealthiest from sales tax on yachts is Approved. On. Time.

Due to that Democrat-induced, “on time” approval, New York now has a similar teacher evaluation stupidity that passed in Louisiana in 2012 (with student test scores counting for 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation unless the teacher is rated “ineffective,” in which case the test scores override all else). Moreover, New York has an extra layer of idiocy, even outdoing Louisiana: the “independent evaluator” nonsense that promises to introduce unprecedented disruption in the running of already-pressured schools as their administrators could be required to travel to other schools to evaluate teachers in unfamiliar contexts.

Did I mention that all of this “admin swap” means nothing in the face of the “ineffective test scores” trump card?

And “ineffective,” well, that is To Be Determined by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

Ahh, yes. The bottom line is that all New York career teachers are now at the mercy of whatever test score “growth” NYSED concocts in its effort to please a governor who is decidedly and openly hostile to the “public school monopoly” he vowed to “bust” upon reelection.

There you have it, People of New York: A casualty of the “budgeting on time” that Heastie says you demand.

Therefore, don’t blame the “heavy-hearted” Democrats captured in short order in the brief, powerful video below. And certainly don’t blame those clueless legislators who voted for a budget without fully comprehending its ramifications.

The politicians are innocent… right?

Future of NYS Education, by Stronger Together (ST) Caucus


Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of the ed reform whistle blower, A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education.

She also has her second book available on pre-order, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, due for publication May/June 2015.


  1. Mercedes, this is such a sad day. I think there is also a second motive. This system can be rigged that teachers who are close to retirement age can be made ineffective. If their students do poorly on these CC assessments two years in a row, they can be fired within 90 days and thus lose their pensions. Those who have now reached retirement age will most definitely retire now because who wants to take a chance in losing ones pension. No one will want to teach ELL and special education students, let alone impoverished students. If I was in the middle of a teacher education program now, I would have to reconsider such a career. I see only one way out of this mess. Teachers must begin to speak to parents after school about opting out. Parents must be told that the tests are not being used to help their children learn, but to fire teachers. By skewing the sample by having a significant number of students opt out, we have to render the assessments invalid. If the state then chooses to use the scores, teachers will have legal grounds to have the scores thrown out by the judiciary.

  2. Liberalteacher, I agree that there is an attempt to destroy teaching as a profession– and one means to this end is to try to force seasoned teachers into premature retirement in favor of cheap, turnstile teaching.

  3. Driving experienced teachers out of the profession will also weaken NYSUT. You can’t tell me that isn’t one objective.

  4. Laura chapman permalink

    Who were the architects of this plan? it sounds like McKinsey & Co. provided the blueprint aided by USDE. Legislators participate in game plans designed by others. Staff do the legwork and writing. This is not clearly the product of model ALEC legislation although it resonates with and enables making public education a private, tax-subsidized enterprise. The McKinsey factor at USDE has been under reported. The USDE’s cynical name for a version of the New York scenario is called RESPECT. R is for reinventing. McKinsey drafted the white paper that morphed into the USDE program. NAt my iPod with not much skill in producing the link. In any case, you have produced another gem.

  5. LAEducator permalink

    So sad that NY is joining LA in the Race to the Bottom.

    Question: Teachers in LA are all aware of the 51% rule that states that if a teacher scores as “Ineffective” on EITHER the principal’s observation or the VAM/SLT portion of the evaluation, the teacher is guaranteed to fail because the failed portion automatically becomes worth 51%. Last week, an administrator in my district informed me that this 51% rule will no longer be in effect next fall. Do you know if this is true? And where to find verification of this info? I am so sick of going to state DOE websites for info only to find that they lack the vital info that used to be there or the sites simply haven’t been updated since 2011-12!

    • There has been talk of letting the local administrators (shcool? district?) decide to override, but I have no official document. It could be somewhere in BESE’s minutes.

      The plan to collect “PARCC” data for two years in order to “reset” a VAM that is already nonsense is still in the works.

      • Keep in mind that all of this seeming “backing off” conveniently lasts until the next gubernatorial/presidential election is past. (2016)

  6. Okay folks, not to be undone by NYS or any other repressive education or legislative policy making body, Representatives Pat Smith (D-African Anerican) along with Representative Carter (R-chair of House Ed Committe whose voting record has always been pro-reform) have banded together to produce HB 752 which gives the State Department of Education under the seige reign of King John White, the authority to create policy that will investigate any school employee who is believed to have “coerced” or influenced any parent to opt his/her child out of state testing and to enlist disciplinary measures upon not only the individual employee but the school and district. There is no caveat that this prohibition of free speech and ethical responsibility is limited to within the schoolhouse doors.

    We are indeed in the midst of “the worst of times.”

  7. LAEducator – The Accountability Commission subcommittee charged with revisiting the use of VAM and COMPAS voted to send its recommendation to BESE to place another year of moratorium on its use and to return the subject back to the Accountability Commission for further review. I am not quite sure if this means Rep. Hoffman who sponsored the original legislation that instituted COMPAS needs to amend his bill this session or if BESE’s approval is sufficient. The subcommittee motion was made by Rep. Hoffman himself who suggested TWO years, but with the help of White’s shill Jessica Baghian and the business reps on the committee it was reduced to one year. Rep. Hoffman stayed several times quite clearly that “VAM is not working.” Rep. Hoffman is evidently not yet ready to take responsibility for its failure by filing legislation to can it.

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