Here are the details of Tisch's reply to Cuomo's letter earlier this month asking about education reform issues to pursue this next legislative session:
The letter from Chancellor Merryl Tisch , who heads the New York Board of Regents, was also signed by Beth Berlin, who will become acting commissioner of the State Education Department on Jan. 3. It urged lawmakers to:
- Expedite cases to dismiss teachers, by replacing the group of independent contractors who hear these cases with a new state office to do so. This would give the state more control over who decides these cases and limit expensive delays, the letter said. Now unions and district officials must agree on the choice of arbitrators.
- Change the burden of proof in a dismissal case so that a teacher with two consecutive poor ratings is presumed incompetent.
- Extend the time it takes to get tenure to five years. Now it usually takes three years of acceptable service.
- Make teacher evaluations more stringent and consistent statewide by reducing certain measures in them that are negotiated by districts through collective bargaining.
- Continue mayoral control of New York City schools after it expires in June.
- Raise the cap on the number of charter schools.
- Add more money to grant programs that boost the pay of talented teachers who take on leadership roles, or work in high-poverty schools or hard-to-staff subjects.
- Enable districts to come up with compensation plans that reward excellence. Unions generally back salary scales that increase pay by longevity.
- Give the state more power to restructure, and in some cases replace, chronically failing schools. One idea is appointing a receiver to take charge.
The details around the charter cap in Tisch's letter go like this:
And sound advice from Tisch on lifting the state's charter-school cap. pic.twitter.com/tn0LK5Q9uq
— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) December 31, 2014