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Letter: New York Superintendent DOES NOT CARE about VAM

August 30, 2015

Michael Hynes is the superintendent of the Patchogue-Medford School District in New York.

He knows that attempting to gauge teacher value via the state’s $2.7 million, nonsensical, secretive value-added modeling (VAM) scheme is foolish.

Below is his August 28, 2015, letter to a teacher in the Patchogue-Medford district.

Here is what Hynes writes:

August 28, 2015

Dear Ms. —,

The purpose of this letter is to let you know that I DO NOT CARE what your state growth score is.  Let me be clear… I DO NOT CARE. It does not define you. Please know that I understand that nobody likes to be reduced to a number.

The fact is, you are much more than a number, not only to me, but most important to the children and parents you serve. Keep your head up and your eye on what is most important… your students and your teaching craft. The Patchogue-Medford School district fully supports you as an educator, regardless of what this meaningless, invalid and inhumane score states. Let me know what you need and it is my sincere hope you have a great year.

With Warmest Regards,

Michael J. Hynes, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

And the letter is copied to the teacher’s personnel file.

New York’s VAM is currently being challenged in court by teacher Sheri Lederman, who was penalized for having what one might nonsensically term the “worst best students.”

New York governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to “bust the public school monopoly,” and in his mind, not enough New York teachers are losing their jobs. So, he pushed the New York legislature to bring in outside raters. Cuomo’s obvious aim is to destabilize the teaching profession in New York.

But he should get his self-serving eyes off of VAM and on another number:

His historically-low approval rating.

cuomo frown


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 a second book, Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?, published on June 12, 2015.

both books

  1. Bravo! Way to recognize teacher professionalism.

  2. 2old2tch permalink

    Wouldn’t it be nice if every teacher could work in a district with a leader like Michael Hynes?

  3. duneduder permalink

    A superintendent w/ a spine and compassion for his teachers! Necessary to fundamentally help change our seriously flawed education system. The answer is certainly not more corporate-driven testing.

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