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A study from the Bookings Institute concludes what many have already known for quite sometime, student test scores play a significant role in determining the value of homes.


Now that test scores have fallen across the state of NY, they will no longer factor into the value of homes as they have in the past.  Imagine a realtor trying to use a district’s 46% passing rate as a talking point to prospective homebuyers?

If test scores can no longer be a dominating factor in determining the value of homes, what will replace it?  NYSED Commissioner John King has the answer- teacher ratings!

On October 22, 2013 John King claimed, “the state will release the breakdown of teachers’ scores by district in “late fall or early winter,”  along with a more detailed analysis of scores of every teacher in NY.  In a false accountability scale, most teachers made the grade.  With 70% of students failing the tests, many districts have taken it upon themselves to increase the “rigor” of teacher evaluations so that teachers’ ratings more accurately reflect student scores on flawed high-stakes tests.  Teachers are left with the herculean task of having more students pass and by much greater margins.  Ultimately, teachers’ ratings will fall because they have no control over constantly changing cut scores.

As John King continually points out during his forums, so much of the responsibility is in the hands of the local districts.  In an effort to produce minimal/short-term gains through a “rigorous” resetting of expected student growth, districts are about to cause long-term damage to the value of their homes.  Would you move into a district with 100% effective and highly effective teachers or 78%?  Districts need to resist the urge of falling on their own swords for a king that will not support them.

For 2013-14 and 2014-15- if a teacher is rated “ineffective” or “developing, Governor Cuomo has agreed to remove the state tests (20%).  The locally selected test moves up from 20% to 40% of the teacher evaluation.  If a district uses state tests for local scores (many did this to save students from having to take additional tests, especially in the K-2 range), they will use observation for 100% of the scores.

None of this makes sense, but it makes lots of dollars for corporations.  Through these unfunded mandates, we are removing the funding for instruction/class sizes and placing it into a system of accountability that clearly does not work for students.