The board that sets education policy for New York questioned Monday why the State Education Department touted gains on standardized test scores this year when most agree the data can’t be compared against previous years.
The department released the results of the state’s 2016 reading and math tests in July, showing that statewide proficiency grew 6.6 percentage points in reading and 1 percentage point in math compared to last year.
Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia warned against making direct comparisons with results from prior years — a point she would reiterate in weeks to come — since the 2016 tests were shorter than previous years and untimed. But in their first public meeting since the announcement, the Regents expressed concern that comparisons were made at all.
“When we send out a package that says, you know, we’re moving up and charter schools did so much better, this goes to the press and then to the political people who make decisions on our behalf sometimes based upon data that can’t be compared,” said Regent Roger Tilles.
Fairport Central School District Superintendent Dr. William Cala spoke at a Rochester Teachers Association forum on March 5, 2015.
Dr. Cala’s notes can be read here.
Dr. Cala has no faith in the New York legislature and believes that Governor Cuomo is totally corrupt. He still believes that it is possible to fight bureaucracy in Albany and win because it has been done in the past (examples given in his speech). He believes that money and power are running New York State but for us to win, we must acknowledge what is going on (speak truth to power; silence no more) and then get to fixing the real problem of poverty. His words are way better than mine so watch or read what he has to say.
I don’t agree with every point of Dr. Cala’s solution for dealing with poverty but I agree that poverty, NOT failing education, is the ‘elephant in the room’ that we have to deal with as Americans.
We need to stop bashing schools and teachers. We need to fix the educational problems where they exist with our schools allowing our local educators to contribute to the solutions as the trained professionals that they are. And we have to start working on the hard problems in our society that lead to or keep people in poverty!