New York's education commissioner, John B. King Jr., told WNYC's Brian Lehrer he wants to change state standards so a school's progress is taken into account, along with test scores and graduation rates, in assessing the school's performance.
Speaking on WNYC, Mr. King said under the guidelines of the federal No Child Left Behind law, the state has emphasized "high accountability, low support." Going forward he wants to see a focus on greater support so teachers and principals can get schools where they need to be, what he called "high accountability, high support."
Mr. King says New York's waiver from the No Child Left Behind law, if approved, will give the state more flexibility, which is especially critical in a time of budget cuts.
"The fiscal environment adds a whole additional layer of challenge. It makes our work more urgent," Mr. King said. "I think we've got to think differently about how we use existing resources. It's one of the reasons we made teacher and principal evaluation a priority. Eighty to 90 percent of what school districts spend is spent on people."
Hear the full interview here: