State Threatens to Pull Millions for Schools in the City and Elsewhere
) Kudos to John King and Meryl Tisch for playing hardball with NYS's Race to the Top money. The unions of course want the money but none of the reform and accountability they promised to get it…
New York State's education commissioner threatened on Tuesday to withhold tens of millions of dollars in federal grants to struggling schools in New York City and nine other districts statewide if they do not prove by Saturday that they will carry out new evaluation systems for teachers and principals.
Officials and union leaders in each district must first agree on the details of the evaluation systems, like how much weight students' standardized test scores will have on the annual ratings that teachers and principals receive. Compromise has thus far proved elusive.
Of the 10 districts, which are the only recipients of the federal grants in New York, only Rochester and Syracuse as of Tuesday had submitted proposals for the state's review, the commissioner, John B. King Jr., said in a statement. "When the ball drops at midnight on New Year's Eve," he said, "the money drops off the table, and it will be difficult to get it back."
…The school improvement grants have been the subject of increased scrutiny in recent weeks, after Dr. King and the chancellor of the Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, visited several of the beneficiary schools and then expressed their frustrations over the way the money was being used.
In biting remarks, Dr. Tisch called the schools "warehouses" for struggling students, who were pushed there after the city shut the schools they used to attend.
December 27, 2011