Please Contact Regent Tisch and the at-large* Regents
As noted previously, the Regents will be voting on September 16th -17th to make the new evaluation rules permanent. Roger Tilles, the Regent for Nassau/Suffolk, has indicated that he will join the majority in voting in favor – despite his longstanding opposition to using test scores to evaluate teachers. Tilles is taking the perspective that it was the duty of the Regents to come up with the best plan that met the requirements of the 2015 Education Law, regardless of how bad that law is, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.
As such, there’s no point in contacting him to complain that the system is flawed. He knows that. Rather, we need to remind him that his duty is not only to follow the guidelines given by the legislature, but also simply to do what is right for the education of the students of New York State. In a case such as this, where there is a conflict between those duties, conscience should always win. And Tilles, as demonstrated through his own words, knows what the right choice is.
Nobody knows what will actually happen if Tilles and two or more other Regents flip sides and vote no. Diane Ravitch wrote that “If three Regents change their votes, the ill-considered and harmful law will go back to the legislature for deliberation and revision.” The best case scenario is that the legislature bows to pressure and attempts to undo some of the damage – worst case is that, under pressure from Cuomo, they revise the law to simply cut the Regents out of the equation and give the Governor everything he wanted. This seems unlikely at this point, but it really is anybody’s guess.
In any case, it’s important to reach out to Regent Tilles now to let him know how you feel. While you’re at it, please feel free to send a message to the four “at-large” Regents and let THEM know that evaluating teachers on faulty data is not good for students, teachers, or anyone.
Regent Roger Tilles -(516) 364-2533
Chancellor Merryl Tisch – (518) 474-5889
Regent Lester Young – (718) 722-2796
Regent Wade Norwood – (no phone on regents website)
Regent James Cottrell – (718) 270-2331
*at-large refers to members who do not represent a specific region