As public school teachers, we, the undersigned, are shocked to learn that one of the premiere institutions of teacher education, Teachers College at Columbia University, will give a “Medal for Distinguished Service” this year to the Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, Merryl Tisch.
As Chancellor, Tisch has committed New York State’s public schools to high stakes testing, and has personally advocated for standardized test scores to be used for promotion, school closures, and teacher bonuses. These policies are devastating our schools and the teaching profession.
Furthermore, we are extremely concerned that the current president of Teachers College, Susan Fuhrman, serves on the board of directors of Pearson PLC, one of the largest companies responsible for the development of high stakes standardized tests. Pearson’s $32 million contract with the New York State Education Department represents an unfortunate conflict of interest for President Fuhrman.
Now, more than ever, we need Teachers College to stand for authentic teaching and learning, for child-centered curricula and assessments, and against the creeping privatization of our public schools.
No award for Merryl Tisch!