Tisch Wishes She Communicated Better With Parents
As she departs the Board of Regents in the coming months, Chancellor Merryl Tisch says she has one regret: Not communicating better with parents when it came to the implementation of the controversial Common Core standards.
“I think that if I could go back in time and improve on something that we did, I would have the department communicate with the parents early on so that they understood why the shifts in instructional practice were important,” she said in a Capital Tonight interview. “That to me was a constituency group that should have been included in a robust way.”
Tisch on Monday announced she would not run for re-election as the chancellor, a post she has held since 2009. Her planned departure comes after a tumultuous time in education policy in New York: Parents and teachers remain broadly skeptical of the impact of Common Core as a positive development for public school students, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing for changes in the standards.
Tisch warned against pulling back from the standards, which are being studied for an overhaul by Cuomo’s office.
“I would hope not. What we should do is make appropriate and reasonable adjustments, but we should not step back from those pieces of reform that are crucial,” she said.
Cuomo has shifted his emphasis in recent weeks from a push for a strong teacher evaluation system that takes standardized test results into account to an acknowledgement that students should spend less time in the classroom on the examinations.
About 20 percent of students opted out of the state English Language Arts and math exams in April, and polls show voters believe Common Core has not had a positive effect on students and schools.
The Cuomo-backed Common Core panel is expected to release its findings by January in time for the State of the State address.
Lawmakers would likely want to find some tangible changes to the standards next year as all 213 seats in the Legislature are up for re-election. The anti-Common Core movement and test-opt out push has become a well-organized political force over the last several years.
Her announcement to step aside months before the post is up for election was an acknowledgement, however, that she could be more effective as an outgoing chancellor than one running for another term.
“We are at a time where during the next four or five months people are expecting some shifts or adjustments in education, in the evaluation, in the standards, in the implementation,” Tisch said. “I felt that to take the politics out my appointment to the board will allow me that opportunity to give my unvarnished judgment in an outspoken and I hope productive way. I think I can do that.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on October 27, 2015 at 8:28 am, and is filed under Albany. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|