Cashin added that: “Curriculum is critical, to do in depth, and to do extremely well on what you do. You can’t cover everything. Then you water down your effectiveness.” She said that there was too much test prep: “I think that the focus is on the preparation for the assessments,” she said, referring to standardized tests. I am concerned about that. Very.”
In February 2012, she hosted a public hearing to call attention to the DOE’s practice of credit recovery, in which graduation rates were being inflated by allowing high school students to pass their courses even if they didn’t show up for class, by filling out a few worksheets or doing a cursory online program instead.
In April 2012, at a meeting of the Regents, she opposed a proposal to boost to 25% the portion of the teacher evaluation system based on state tests, explaining “Not everyone agrees about value-added. I’m very concerned about any extension of this approach.”
On a panel in October 2012, she spoke about the damage high-stakes testing was doing to the education system:
On October 1, 2013, she co-authored an article in Education Week, called “Remaking Schools as Socioemotional Places” that noted the negative impact on children of the test-based, punitive accountability system, as well as the isolation of online instruction:
The next day, at the Regents meeting, she questioned the usefulness of APPR, the new teacher and principal evaluation system: