ALBANY, July 27, 2009 - New York State United Teachers, the union representing more than half a million teachers, higher education faculty at SUNY and CUNY, and other professionals in education and health care, pledged to collaborate with newly named state education Commissioner David M. Steiner to accelerate momentum in educational achievement, its leaders said today.
"We look forward to working with David M. Steiner to continue and advance our students' progress toward high academic standards," said NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi.
"Dean Steiner is known for emphasizing the importance of quality teacher preparation," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira. "We will continue to provide perspective and insight from classroom teachers and from our members in higher education on the best ways to ensure all educators are well prepared and supported."
Neira, who oversees NYSUT policy on professional and education issues, added: "We look to his leadership in furthering the Regents' commitment that changes in education policy will be made with teachers, not to them.
"Our members share a commitment to quality research on best educational practice to assure that all students – including students of color and students who live in poverty – succeed. Sustaining and expanding quality instructional practices and research are key to continued progress toward high academic standards.
"Dean Steiner has referenced philosopher Hannah Arendt's belief that those who choose to educate the next generation must take responsibility for the world they present to students. NYSUT's leadership on educational issues and on ending the achievement gap makes it clear that teachers and higher education faculty embrace both the opportunity and responsibility of being full participants in strengthening education in New York state."