ALBANY, N.Y. April 11, 2016 — Delegates to New York State United Teachers' convention are calling for repeal of the state's receivership law and an end to inappropriate state testing, sending a strong message to Albany that the current state tests are hurting all students while receivership is mislabeling public schools in some of the neediest communities.
In action at NYSUT's annual Representative Assembly over the weekend, some 2,000 delegates enthusiastically backed a special resolution calling on the State Education Department and Regents to swiftly implement the recommendations of the Common Core Task Force.
Delegates also passed a resolution declaring that the state's receivership law perpetuates a failed test-and-punish system to categorize schools that mostly serve students and families living in poverty. The resolution calls on NYSUT — which is already challenging the receivership statute in court — to exhaust every avenue to repeal the law, which undermines local control while failing to address the entrenched poverty that can be a barrier to student progress.
"New Yorkers are speaking with a loud, firm voice: The state must make real, substantive changes in its testing and evaluation systems — without equivocation — to win back the trust and confidence of parents and educators," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "The Regents and State Education Department must begin that process by implementing, with fidelity, all recommendations contained in the Common Core Task Force Report."
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta called receivership a "debacle" and said, "Receivership fails to address funding inequalities and the crippling effect the undemocratic tax cap has on local communities' ability to raise funds to support their own schools. Receivership must be repealed, and replaced with real solutions that help students and support public schools in high-need communities," he said.
NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino said NYSUT will hold the state to their commitment to make corrections to New York's standards, assessments and evaluation systems. "We have a new Board of Regents that we believe will listen to what parents and educators want for their schools. We look forward to working collaboratively with them to ensure the task force recommendations are implemented properly, and that changes to our standards, testing and evaluations systems are done right," she said.
NYSUT delegates also adopted a special resolution opposing new discriminatory laws in North Carolina and Mississippi, banning travel to those states by NYSUT officers and staff in support of the LGBTQ community.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.
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