Tag Archives: Josephine Finn

Board of Regents member covering Ulster County – appointed in March 2014

New Paltz BOE Stands Against Use of State Tests to Evaluate Teachers

The New Paltz Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution against the use of state test scores to evaluate the efficacy of teachers and schools on November 4, 2015.

Read the resolution here.

After seven points about the Value Added Model (VAM), the BOE concludes:

Our conclusion is that the results produced by the current assessment system are unproven, volatile, and lack utility. We call upon the Board of Regents and Legislature to immediately suspend all state assessments that use a VAM or growth theory until there is evidence of efficacy.

The BOE gives four points about APPR and concludes:

Our conclusion is that the current APPR mandates are invalid measures of educator- and school district-effectiveness and present serious short- and long-term risks to the availability of instructional talent.

Finally after three points on the utility of student assessment data, the conclusion is reached:

Our conclusion is that the data produced by the state assessment system provide no value while simultaneously diverting resources away from initiatives that serve districts’ missions.

Based on the conclusions presented, the New Paltz Central School District makes the following recommendation:

The Board of Education of the New Paltz Central School District asks the Board of Regents, State Education Department, New York State Legislature, and Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare an immediate moratorium on the current testing mandates and for that moratorium to continue until such time as a body of evidence for their efficacy in improving instruction has been fully established. We also request that no Smart Bond funds are expended to computerize an evaluation system based on the Value Added Model. – New Paltz CSD Board of Education Resolution Regarding Value Added Model

Note the request to not use any of the Smart Schools Bond fund money for testing.  A concern of many of those who advocated against passage of the Smart Schools Bond Act was that it would be used to cement testing/Common Core within the schools.  We need to make sure that does not happen while everyone is still ‘deciding’ what is to be done about Common Core/testing.

The New Paltz BOE will send their resolution to the Board of Regents, including our local Regent Josephine Finn, for consideration before the Regents meeting on November 16, 2015.  The New Paltz BOE also asks that the resolution be shared widely so that other New York parents and school districts can contact the Board of Regents to show support of the resolution.

Board of Regents approves 50% of teacher evaluation based on state test scores

The Board of Regents voted 10-6 to approve the current, temporary teacher and principal evaluation system that bases 50% of the evaluation on the test scores of the students sitting in the classroom.  The current evaluation system is not just bad for our teachers; it is bad for our students!

I am getting tired of the ‘heavy hearts’ and ‘nose holding’ but still going along with what Governor Cuomo wants. The state legislators did it in March (read here and here). The board of Regents did it in June and again today. I want someone in Albany to have the guts to stand up and tell Governor Cuomo that his education plans are BAD and New York says No!

Regent Tilles talks of a ‘lack of confidence in the current evaluation system’ but he still voted for it.

“We have to express a lack of confidence in the current evaluation system,” said Regent Roger Tilles of Long Island, who voted for the rules. “We have to express a lack of confidence in the current growth model. We have to … call for changes to the evaluation system as it currently exists.”  – “After debate, Regents pass teacher-evaluation rules”  Democrat & Chronicle September 15, 2015

I KNOW I have a lack of confidence in 10 members of the Board of Regents who voted to continue the current teacher and principal evaluation system that places 50% of the evaluation squarely on the shoulders of the students sitting in the classroom.

Diane Ravitch got it exactly right in her blog on September 16, 2015:

Today, the New York Board of Regents will vote to approve the harsh and punitive educator evaluation plan that Governor Andrew Cuomo rammed through the Legislature last spring as part of a budget bill.

In doing so, the Regents will abandon their Constitutional authority over education policy. The New York State Constitution grants full control over education to the Board of Regents. It grants none to the Governor. The Governor does not appoint a single member of the 17-member Board of Regents. The State Legislature selects them. The Governor does not appoint the state Commissioner of Education. That is the job of the Regents.

Today the Regents will approve Cuomo’s plan to tie 50% of educator evaluations to student test scores. The Governor’s plan was shaped in his office, without benefit of hearings, public discussion, public debate, or expert testimony.

The Regents have the power to reassert their Constitutional authority. But they are weak. They will fold to the will of a Governor whose determination to rule is greater than the Regents’ commitment to the State Constitution. Or to the children, or to the educators, or to the best interests of education in New York.

Parents have been ignored throughout this charade of the Governor flexing his political muscle. They will have a chance to be heard next spring, when the tests are administered. More students will opt out, more than the 220,000 who refused the tests in 2015. Will it be 300,000? 400,000? This is parents’ only means to be heard. They will be heard.

I will be doing everything I can to make sure that the 10 Regents who voted in support of the continued emphasis on state testing today will NOT be re-appointed.  Ulster County representative Regent Josephine Finn is one of the 10 who voted to continue the teacher evaluation system that is harmful to our students, teachers and local public schools.

Regents APPR vote 9 16 2015

Regents Rosa, Cashin, Chin, Collins, Johnson and Ouderkirk voted against the teacher evaluation system in June and again today. Please thank them for taking a stand for the children.

I will also be encouraging parents to continue to REFUSE the state tests for grades 3-8.  Apparently 220,000 test REFUSALS were not enough to let New York State know that the tests are unsatisfactory to the parents of New York so I guess we will have to have more REFUSALS.

Test refusal letter links:

 

Diane Ravitch response to the widely expected (and disappointing) “vote” by the NYS Regents today making Cuomo’s attack on public schools permanent. Again, no surprise that the weak Regents bowed to a bully Cuomo, but the blatant ignoring of over 20,000 written appeals to vote NO is appalling. The Regents, Legislature and Governor are all begging parents to Opt their kids out of this mess (oh.. And they’re renaming Common Core – same problems, different name).

All 6 votes against we’re women, all men voted yes joined by 3 women and Brown from Rochester was absent. Nice.

“Today, the New York Board of Regents will vote to approve the harsh and punitive educator evaluation plan that Governor Andrew Cuomo rammed through the Legislature last spring as part of a budget bill.

In doing so, the Regents will abandon their Constitutional authority over education policy. The New York State Constitution grants full control over education to the Board of Regents. It grants none to the Governor. The Governor does not appoint a single member of the 17-member Board of Regents. The State Legislature selects them. The Governor does not appoint the state Commissioner of Education. That is the job of the Regents.

Today the Regents will approve Cuomo’s plan to tie 50% of educator evaluations to student test scores. The Governor’s plan was shaped in his office, without benefit of hearings, public discussion, public debate, or expert testimony.

The Regents have the power to reassert their Constitutional authority. But they are weak. They will fold to the will of a Governor whose determination to rule is greater than the Regents’ commitment to the State Constitution. Or to the children, or to the educators, or to the best interests of education in New York.

Parents have been ignored throughout this charade of the Governor flexing his political muscle. They will have a chance to be heard next spring, when the tests are administered. More students will opt out, more than the 220,000 who refused the tests in 2015. Will it be 300,000? 400,000? This is parents’ only means to be heard. They will be heard.”

Call Board of Regents today 9/16/15 BEFORE 3pm!

The resolution to make the current, temporary teacher and principal evaluation system permanent is on the Board of Regents agenda for 3:15pm today September 16, 2015.

Contact Ulster County Board of Regents member Josephine Finn and tell her to vote NO on making the evaluation system permanent.

Josephine Finn (518) 474-5889  Regent.Finn@nysed.gov

 

Also contact the at-large Board of Regents members and tell them to vote NO.

Merryl Tisch  (518) 474-5889   Regent.Tisch@nysed.gov

Lester W. Young, Jr.  (718) 722-2796  Regent.Young@nysed.gov

James E. Cottrell  (718) 270-2331  Regent.Cottrell@nysed.gov

Wade Norwood  (585) 436-2944 (when you get his work # its 110 NOT 111)  Regent.Norwood@nysed.gov

If you are not familiar with the problems associated with the evaluation system and why it is bad for STUDENTS and teachers, click on the APPR topic in the right sidebar to read more.

Contact the Board of Regents today!

Contact Ulster County Board of Regents member Josephine Finn and tell her to vote NO on making the current, temporary teacher and principal evaluation system permanent at the Regents meeting next week (September 16-17, 2015).

Josephine Finn (518) 474-5889  Regent.Finn@nysed.gov

The current evaluation system (temporarily approved by the Board of Regents in June 2015) is not just bad for teachers.  It is bad for our students.

This evaluation system bases 50% of the evaluation on the test scores of the students sitting in the teacher’s class.  Talk about a heavy weight on those students’ shoulders.  Such a heavy emphasis on the tests also promotes teaching to the test and narrowing of the curriculum which adversely affect students’ education.

You can read further on why the tests are bad for teachers AND students here.

Call and email Regent Finn now!

Making Field Testing Mandatory?

The New York State Board of Regents on Monday discussed a proposal to make field tests – the tests that “test out” questions for future standardized testing – mandatory for school districts. The New York State Education Department has said the practice tests are already required*, but some school superintendents disagree. At least eight school districts in the Lower Hudson Valley said no thanks to field tests this past school year – and so far have faced no sanctions (details here).

Many concerned parents contacted the Board of Regents on Monday expressing opposition to changing regulations to make the field tests mandatory but the Board of Regents ignored all of the input and is moving forward with the proposal.  A comment period will begin on December 3 and end on January 20, 2015 and the Regents will be voting on the proposed change to make field testing mandatory at the February meeting (February 9 and 10, 2015).

Diane Ravitch has captured perfectly my thoughts regarding the decision of the New York State Board of Regents to make field testing ‘mandatory’.

The Regents and Commissioner John King think they are in public office to compel the public to do what they want. They don’t understand that they are “public servants,” which means obviously they are supposed to serve the public. When thousands of parents rise up as one to say that their children are over tested and their schools have been turned into test-prep centers, the Regents should listen. They haven’t. They have added fuel to parent anger. It is not going away just because the Regents have passed a motion. The children belong to their parents, not to the state.

– Diane Ravitch New York Regents Encourage Opt Out Movement By Ignoring Parent Objections to PARCC Field Testing November 18, 2014

If you are concerned about testing, please submit comments during the comment period.

“Opportunity for submission of data, views or arguments: Comments regarding the proposed amendment may be submitted to: Ken Wagner, Deputy Commissioner, State Education Department, Office of Curriculum, Assessment and Educational Technology, EBA Room 875, 89 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12234 (e-mail: NYSEDP12@nysed.gov). Comments must be received by the State Education Department on or before January 20, 2015.”

Also be in regular contact with your Regent member regarding your opposition to making field testing mandatory.  Regent Josephine Finn represents Ulster County on the Board of Regents.  Her contact information is RegentFinn@mail.nysed.gov or (518) 474-5889.

When you submit comments to Mr. Wagner, don’t forget to cc Regents, cc and contact your legislators and get your BOEs involved in issuing objections.  Contact information for all of the Regents and legislators is available here on Jolyn’s Education Corner.

Peppermint Patty multiple choice

* Below is information from United to Counter the Core explaining some background information on the field testing debate.

Nysed tried to deceive parents and administrators and forced students to take abusive field tests for years by claiming field tests were mandatory. They led parents and districts to wrongly believe that they were required, but that claim was debunked and found to be untrue by advocates who pushed back last year.http://schoolsofthoughtny.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/attention-field-tests-not-mandated-by-nyseds-own-admission/

Parents and schools refused field tests last year in record numbers! NYSUT supported districts that refused. http://dianeravitch.net/2014/05/30/nysut-supports-districts-that-opt-put-of-state-field-tests/

NYSED is not happy about this.  So, now they plan to force schools to give the abusive field tests by bypassing parent/district control and free will by changing the law!http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2014/November2014/1114p12d2.pdf
So much for reduced testing in NYS!

 

Call NOW to oppose Mandatory Field Testing!

The New York State Board of Regents is discussing right now (today – November 17) making field testing of the questions that Pearson is writing for future state tests mandatory.  Field testing has not previously been mandatory although the state has implied that it was.

Please call the NYS Board of Regents right now and tell them you OPPOSE MANDATORY field testing.  You may be asked to provide your school district.  If you live in Kingston and are asked to provide your Board of Regent’s name, it is Josephine Finn.  The phone number for the Board of Regents is (518) 474-5889.

Field testing is checking out questions to see if they are ‘suitable’ for future tests.  It is using our children as guinea pigs.  If they were adults, they would have to give consent and would get paid for this sort of thing.  There are many issues regarding the field testing and you can read more starting at this post.

Sad day regarding the Board of Regents

Our New York legislature voted on four Board of Regents seats today.  Unfortunately the outcome of the vote did not do the right thing for our children or our educational system in my opinion.  Many who are concerned over the Common Core Agenda have called for the four incumbents to not be re-elected.  However politics came into play rather than what is best for the kids and three of them returned to the Board of Regents.  Apparently Regent James Jackson, responsible for Ulster County, decided to resign last night – reason unknown.  Josephine Finn, who somehow became a candidate after the deadline for candidacy had passed, was selected to fill the seat vacated last night by Regent Jackson so now Ulster County will be represented for the next 5 years by someone who did not even go through the proper process to become a member of the Board of Regents!

Here are two articles that explain the details of what happened today in the legislature as well as some background information regarding the Board of Regents here and here .