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Letter: Tying students’ scores to evaluations is wrong

Your Dec. 17 editorial “N.Y. Regents genuflect” makes a number of claims that are more than debatable – they’re wrong.

Tying teacher evaluations to students test scores is not of “obvious value” to taxpayers, parents and students. It has devalued our schools and taken local control away from the school boards. There are a number of reasons why it is not reasonable or even wise to do so and there is no evidence that it works.

Teachers and the teacher’s union are not against testing. There was always testing and there was always evaluation. Unfortunately, students are not the employees of their teachers and those teachers are not manufacturing machines or selling trucks; they work with young human beings, many who come from failing communities and failing families.

Here’s an idea: if you want the testing to be more meaningful try tying it to student advancement – and good luck with that!

The testing has been of value to the big publishers. They’ve made millions as they have been able to easily publish texts and tests that are designed to reflect a mandated curriculum knowing that the schools across the state must use them! Now who is using their dark money to work that magic?

The taxpayers, parents and students should be glad someone is pushing back against this top down legislated testing system.

The unions have every right to be concerned about the manner in which this testing has been implemented and used and so should you.

Mark R. Vona


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