ALBANY, N.Y. Jan. 15, 2016 — Supported by parent, education and civil rights groups, New York State United Teachers launched a statewide media campaign today celebrating the progress that teachers, parents and students have made toward ending the test-and-punish era in public education and a future in which educators are free to "teach and inspire."
NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said, “Unprecedented activism by parents and teachers opened the door for much-needed change in public education. The pendulum is swinging back to what's most important — teaching and learning. At the same time, we’re reminding New Yorkers there is still a lot of work to do. We must all work together to continue this progress for our students.”
Backing NYSUT's message are the New York State PTA, New York NAACP and the School Administrators Association of New York State.
NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino, a member of the governor’s Common Core Task Force, noted the Board of Regents has already taken initial steps, including approving a four-year moratorium on the use of flawed state tests in teacher evaluations and beginning work on New York standards
“New York teachers must be empowered to create quality New York standards and curriculum that work for New York students and parents,” she said.
NYSUT is also committed to working with the Regents to re-design state assessments; reducing the amount of time spent on testing; and ensuring teacher evaluations are fair and meaningful.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said, “The governor and legislators have clearly heard what parents and teachers have been saying: Over-testing is bad for students. We need to restore the joy of teaching and learning to our classrooms. The task force provided clear direction and we look to the Regents and State Education Department to move this forward.”
The 10-day, $1 million television ad proclaims: “Teachers, parents and students came together speaking out for change in our public schools. End the era of test and punish. Begin a future of teach and inspire. As a result, Gov. Cuomo’s task force recommended sweeping changes. The state is committed to a total reboot and the Regents are acting. That’s progress — though we are just getting started.” The ad concludes, “We must restore the joy of teaching and learning for our kids. Let’s get it done, working together.”
The TV ad will be amplified through a statewide multi-media campaign.
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.