While in Washington D.C. yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg said the city will start to use students' test scores when evaluating teacher tenure. The NY Times called the proposal one "that has been bitterly opposed by the teachers’ union and criticized as putting too much weight on standardized exams."
Bloomberg, who was appearing alongside U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, pointed out, "You can evaluate teachers on any criteria you want, just not on student achievement data. That's like saying to hospitals: 'You can evaluate heart surgeons on any criteria you want - just not patient survival rates!'"
The Mayor also said the State Legislature should permit teacher layoffs based on performance, “The only thing worse than having to lay off teachers would be laying off great teachers instead of failing teachers. With a transparent new evaluation system, principals would have the ability to make layoffs based on merit — but only if the State Legislature gives us the authority to do it.” However, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told the Times he wasn't touching that hot potato, "These are all contractual issues that should be dealt with at the bargaining table."
United Federations of Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew told the Daily News, "This really blew my mind today. The state education commissioner and [Regents Chancellor] Merryl Tisch have both said publicly that the test scores are broken, and then the mayor stands up in public and says he wants to use the broken test scores to evaluate teachers."