kathleen cashin

New York

Cuomo: Test scores should play a bigger part in teacher evals

If Governor Andrew Cuomo angered Mayor Bloomberg by batting off his calls to end seniority-based layoffs, perhaps the governor redeemed himself in the mayor's eyes today. Cuomo sent the chancellor of New York's Board of Regents, Merryl Tisch, a letter saying he believes that student test scores should count for a larger portion of teachers' annual evaluations. His comments are a critique of a set of regulations put out by the Board of Regents that they will vote on next week. The regulations are to be used by New York City and other districts as a guide to implementing the state's new teacher evaluation system. In a statement today, Tisch vowed to support Cuomo's recommendations at the meeting next week, saying that they "will lead to an even stronger teacher and principal evaluation system for New York." It's not clear if the other members of the board will agree with Tisch. A recent appointee to the board, the former city school official Kathleen Cashin, is a quiet critic of Bloomberg's. Another hurdle involves getting the teacher evaluations implemented in school districts. The new state law revising the evaluation system granted final power to local collective bargaining talks between districts and unions. That means that no evaluation system will become final without local unions' approval. United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew responded to Cuomo's letter obliquely, saying only: "We look forward to discussing the Governor's recommendations with the Regents." Bloomberg's reaction was more effusive: “The thoughtful recommendations made today by Governor Cuomo will greatly improve the rigor of these new evaluations, and I am heartened that the Regents agreed to adopt them. But it will take the sustained commitment of all invested parties – and perhaps most importantly, the cooperation of the teachers union – if we are to make this evaluation system a reality.” Here's Cuomo's complete letter:
New York

Former Bloomberg official (and critic) set to join Regents

A long-time educator known for quietly challenging the Bloomberg administration even when she was a part of it, and for doing so with success, is expected to join the state's governing board of education. Kathleen Cashin, a professor at Fordham University and former school support network leader, has been nominated for the Brooklyn position on the New York State Board of Regents, according to several Brooklyn members of the State Assembly. The 17-member board acts as a powerful school board for all of New York State, setting policy on graduation requirements and, more recently, commissioning an overhaul of the state's standardized tests. It’s not clear how Cashin’s likely appointment — she is expected to be confirmed at a joint session of the Senate and Assembly next week — will affect the board's dynamics. Led by Chancellor Merryl Tisch, the board has sometimes infuriated city officials by calling their test scores and graduation rates into question while, at other times, it has validated some of former Chancellor Joel Klein's efforts to link students' data to their teachers. During her decades of working in the city schools, she rose from being the principal of P.S. 193 The Gil Hodges Elementary School to the leader of the Knowledge Network Learning Support Organization, one of the groups that schools hire for support. She became especially well-known for her success as the superintendent of region five — a now-defunct version of a school district — where her schools posted some of the largest gains on the state tests.
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