Although I have been active and vocal on many issues other than education during the past 6 months, my rage at the unearned and illegitimate power of one individual- NY Regents Chair Merryl Tisch- is getting me fired up once again, big time, about the threat to teaching and learning in the public schools of New York State. Her latest proposal to have test scores count for 40 percent of all teacher evaluations so we can rate more teachers ineffective is just the latest outrage. Here is a person who has no track record as a teacher, an administrator or education scholar who heads the most powerful education policy body in the state, and has political leaders of both parties anxious to do her bidding. And why? It is because of access to the huge personal fortune the Tisch family commands, something which appears to override experience wisdom and common sense among the vast majority of New York State legislators. It matters not that the most respected teachers and administrators in the State think that Tisch's ideas are destructive, or that parents and students who have come to forums she organized have been treated with condescension and contempt. What matters is her access to funds for campaign contributions, grants, and investment capital for new projects. Which creates a grave and imminent danger that she will decide to reshape, and quite possible undermine, the entire public education system in the state.
I don't know about you, but as the child of two public schools teachers, the husband of a public school principal, and a product of New York City public schools who sent his children to those schools, I am ready to fight her tooth and nail on every misguided measure she proposes