David Bloomfield Calls Out NYS Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch!

Dear Commons Community,

Our own David Bloomfield in a New York Daily News op-ed yesterday called on NYS Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch to resign when her term expires in April 2016. Here is an excerpt:

“Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch was noticeably absent last month when Gov. Cuomo announced his own Common Core Task Force, intended as a total “reboot” of the standards — and effectively displacing a 2014 Regents report on the same subject.

The governor’s action is another sign that when her current five-year term ends in April, it will be time for Tisch to go.

Tisch was appointed to the Board of Regents, which presides over the state Education Department, on April 1, 1996 — almost 20 years ago. She became vice chancellor in 2007, then chancellor in 2009, serving in that position ever since.

Upon taking the Regents helm, Tisch promised, “We will embrace innovation with a data-driven approach . . . to raise test scores, raise graduation rates, and finally close the achievement gap.”

By her own measures — and she’s had plenty of time to prove the wisdom of her approach — Tisch has fallen far short. Last month, statewide test scores showed a mere 31.3% of students proficient in English Language Arts and 38.1% in math on the tough, relatively new Common Core-aligned tests.

In June 2012, Tisch bemoaned that “nearly a quarter of our students still don’t graduate after four years.” That is still the case. For students taking up to five years to complete high school, the 2010 graduation rate stood at 77%. Today it is 76.4%.

Meantime, the achievement gap persists. Four-year graduation rates for 2010 and 2014 — one of the best apples-to-apples indicators we have — show exactly the same 25 percentage point difference between black and Hispanic students compared to white students…

Tisch vehemently believes that poor performance should lead to firings and school closures. She argued that position in a letter to the governor’s office last December, stating in no uncertain terms that “if these schools cannot be made to perform, they must be closed and replaced.” She recently repeated the prescription, asking rhetorically, “How long do you stick with a failing school?”

It is time for Tisch to take the medicine she has advised for others. How long, indeed.”

Tough medicine!



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