There are many levels on which Andrew Cuomo doesn't grasp accountability, including, say, the personal accountability involved in giving one's word and then not keeping it.
But his recent remarks about the evaluation and accountability system for teachers in New York State shows that he, like many other reformsters, just doesn't get the point.
Cuomo has been criticizing the results of the evaluation system because he believes they are wrong. This is backwards.
The whole point of any sort of assessment, diagnostic, or accountability system is to find out exactly what's going on. A doctor gives a cancer test to find out if the patient has cancer. The doctor does not get the test back from the lab and say, "No, this is wrong. I already know whether the patient has cancer or not. Keep doing this test till it confirms the answer I have already decided on."
The point of any sensible accountability system for teachers should be to find out how well they are teaching. There are many ways to assess whether a system is actually telling you the truth or not, ways to see if the answer you're getting is accurate. But Cuomo apparently believes he already knows the answer, and he is just looking for an accountability system to confirm what he already knows.
We have of course seen systems like this before, but they are usually employed to hide failure. In Communist China, the leaders decided that shifting to an industrial economy would not harm their food supply, and so reports from the farming districts had to be rewritten until they showed that farms were still producing more than enough food. Meanwhile, millions of Chinese starved to death. In Vietnam, generals demanded that field reports be rewritten until they showed that our troops were winning the battles. That worked out well.
Cuomo has turned history on its head. Instead of hiding failure, he would like the New York teacher evaluation system to hide success, and he will keep rewriting the system until it produces the reports of failure that he demands (whether they are real or not).
Governor Cuomo (and many other reformsters) does not understand the purpose of an evaluation system. A sensible human does not go to the doctor and say, "I know I have cancer. Confirm it or you're fired." A sensible human does not pull out a thermometer, "I already have guessed what the temperature is. If this thermometer doesn't get that answer, it must be broken."
The purpose of an accountability system is to figure out what's going on, not to play Gotcha. By insisting on an accountability system that is based on his preferences instead of actual reality, Cuomo positions New York as a state where teachers can be evaluated as failing for No Damn Reason. He will certainly not be alone in that, but if he wants to convince teachers to come work in the Empire State, he needs a better plan. I would recommend one based on reality.