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Merryl Tisch: I Did It for the Kids

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Merryl Tisch is stepping down as Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents, ending a 20-year tenure on the board. The New York Times interviewed her about her time in office.


Tisch led the state’s effort to win Race to the Top funding. The state received $700 million, promising to increase charters, adopt the Common Core, create a longitudinal database for students, and evaluate teachers by test scores.


She promoted high-stakes testing, test-based teacher evaluation, charter schools, and everything expected by Race to the Top. And she didn’t just comply, she truly believes that testing, Common Core, and accountability will increase equity and reduce achievement gaps. She did it for the kids.


“She tried to do too much, too fast.

“That is Merryl H. Tisch’s appraisal of her tenure as chancellor of the Board of Regents, the top education post in New York State, as she prepares to step down at the end of the month.

“Her critics say the same thing.

“A champion of the Common Core learning standards, Dr. Tisch, 60, pushed for the creation of new, harder tests based on those standards and for teacher evaluations tied to students’ performance on the exams.


“That set off a backlash in which a fifth of the eligible students sat out the state’s third- through eighth-grade reading and math tests last spring. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, once her ally on using test scores in teacher evaluations, did an about-face….


““If anything, I fault myself for being ambitious for every child,” she said.”



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