This was all part of an informative piece by Marc Humbert today for On Board Online, the weblog for the state School Boards Association (here), on New York's chances of obtaining federal "Race to the Top" funds from the U.S. Department of Education.
Humbert was a long-time reporter and columnist on New York state politics for the Associated Press. He picks up on Education Secretary Arne Duncan's comments earlier this month that New York's chances of securing funds from this program are at risk because of the cap on charter schools and prohibitions on evaluating teachers, in part, using student test scores.
The article quotes Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, outgoing Education Commissioner Rick Mills, and NYSUT president, Richard Ianuzzi, among others.
In a nutshell, Chancellor Tisch is careful in her remarks and somewhat complimentary of the state's charter school record.
Mills, whose last day as Commissioner is today, has said as little about charter schools as an education leader can say in 14 years and doesn't disappoint in this article. The commissioner doesn't think the $5 billion "Race to the Top" funding amounts to much, but thinks the state is well positioned.
Mills also doesn't think we should take Secretary Duncan too seriously, as Humbert writes: "New York shouldn't be unduly influenced by Duncan's remarks, said Mills."
Then there is charter school nemesis, Richard Iannuzzi, the head of the state teachers union, who argues that New York shouldn't lift the charter cap, saying it "provides the only semblance of accountability."
Mr. Iannuzzi reveals his ignorance on the enormous level of charter school accountability, beginning with the charter itself, which cannot exceed five years and must be renewed accordingly.
Iannuzzi also showed his interest in having no accountability when it comes to scrutinizing his member teachers using test data since NYSUT's position is to ban the use of scores when making tenure decisions for teachers, which they got the legislature to do for them last year.
for The Chalkboard
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