ALBANY, N.Y. May 16, 2011 - New York State United Teachers President Richard C. Iannuzzi today released the following statement in response to the Regents' vote on teacher evaluations:
"Today's action by the full Board of Regents is a significant setback for reform and innovation in New York State.
"Promising procedures developed in partnership with various stakeholders and in response to the voice of practitioners have been sidetracked by political expedience and a misguided rush to get it done - instead of getting it done right. Collaboration, the centerpiece for New York's Race to the Top grant, will now become a victim of Albany bureaucracy, legal debate and political posturing.
"The amendments approved by the Board of Regents today ignore sound educational research; reject significant portions of a year's work by a Task Force consisting of practitioners from every stakeholder group; seek to circumvent local collective bargaining; and attempt to create regulations contrary to the language and intent of the existing law.
"Yesterday's letter from nationally respected Stanford University Education Professor Linda Darling Hammond and nearly a dozen prominent education researchers clearly illustrate the concerns over using standardized tests to evaluate individual teachers and the particular weaknesses of New York's exams. To double the value of a questionable state exam, and then apply it to a purpose for which it was never designed, defies all logic.
"New York State was poised to take the lead on a path to a thoughtful and comprehensive evaluation system, one that would ensure that every child faces an effective teacher and that every school is administered by an effective principal. Today's actions take New York down a path that will hamper instruction and student success and that will eventually arrive at a dead end."
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents some 600,000 classroom teachers and other school employees; faculty and other professionals at the state's community colleges, State University of New York and City University of New York, and other education and health professionals. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.