Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Superintendent Cash Breaks Silence (?) on Question of Standardized Tests

I’ve only been asking, since mid-December when the Common Core Task Force’s Report and Recommendations were released, for answers to:  1) what the impact of these recommendations is on the District’s Criterion Schools’ admissions’ criteria in addition to Receivership (this was a question posed specifically to Superintendent Cash, aka Buffalo’s Receiver and 2) what implementation strategies are proposed to enforce these recommendations.  In addition I asked that the Commissioner convene a task group to study the impact and develop the implementation strategies.  I couldn’t get an answer from either the Superintendent or the Commissioner. 

That is until tonight!  I pushed to have this item added to the agenda, however when I brought it up I got a stony-faced answer from Dr. Cash that he been advised by legal counsel that he could not comment on the question now, or maybe ever, due to the pending legal action.

Now, that answer is hardly a surprise given the lawsuit that was recently filed, regarding the Receivership Law.  However, the Superintendent had the obligation to respond to my questions in December, long before the litigation was initiated. 1) There was an obligation to answer this question, not just because I asked it and as a Board member I was entitled to a response from the Board’s one and only employee.  2)But the children, whose opportunity for admission to a criterion school may be negatively impacted by the use of these standardized tests deserved to have an answer to this question in a timely manner. 

The answer that there will be no answer because legal counsel have so advised is, in simple terms, a cop-out, unfair to our students, and a dis-service to them and to the community.

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