May 28, 2010

NYSUT says new law will support teachers in continual professional growth

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

ALBANY, N.Y, May 28, 2010 - NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said today that he takes pride in passage of a teacher/principal effectiveness bill that the statewide union helped develop, noting that it breaks new ground in advancing professional growth and support for all teachers, and creates a comprehensive process for teacher/principal evaluations.

"Every child deserves an effective teacher," Iannuzzi said. "That is their right, and our responsibility. NYSUT embraces the opportunity to lead on the issue of teacher effectiveness and believes this legislation will strengthen the teaching profession in New York state. It is good for students, because it ensures districts provide teachers with opportunities for continual professional growth, and it is fair to teachers in preserving their due-process rights. "

NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira said the law not only requires districts to provide meaningful support and professional development for teachers who are struggling, but also ends the practice of "drive-by evaluations" that fail to offer useful feedback for improving instruction.

"We look forward to working with Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Commissioner David Steiner on implementation of the Teacher and Principal Effectiveness Advisory Committee that will provide the field perspective on developing the broad gamut of issues relating to educator effectiveness," Neira said.

NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said the passage of this legislation only emphasizes "how essential it is for the Legislature to move forward with budget restorations that are needed to provide all children with quality public education."

NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 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.

Fast Facts on the Impact of the Legislation

• Current contract language remains in place until a contract ends.

• Local collective bargaining is embedded throughout.

• Due process is not diminished and, in some places, enhanced.

• Where it doesn't exist, an evaluation appeal process must be collectively bargained.

• Standardized tests cannot be the sole or predominant factor in a teacher's evaluation.

• In the proposed 100% system, standardized tests are assigned 20% with an additional 20% for multiple measures negotiated locally for a total of 40% for the individual assessment of student performance for every teacher (25% of 40% for standardized tests if a value-added model is created) with the remaining 60% locally negotiated around current APPR criteria.

• Teacher Improvement Plan (TIP) process must be collectively bargained.

• Targeted professional development and teacher improvement plans (ready for implementation and supported) are required within 10 days of first reporting to school after a "developing" or "ineffective" rating.

• An advisory committee that will include NYSUT and practitioners will have 18 months to make recommendations around defining growth, multiple measures, the role of environmental factors, etc.

• After two ineffective ratings a district could (not must) bring a single 3020a charge of "a pattern of ineffective teaching" through an expedited 60-day hearing process before a single hearing officer. Note: The current 3020a law permits incompetency charges after one ineffective rating with a 60-day hearing process.

• To access the "expedited" process, the district is limited to presenting evidence related to the ineffective evaluations and must prove a TIP was developed, issued timely and substantially implemented.

• The teacher's case has no limitation on defense.

• Subjectivity and test scores have been reined in with a more objective and controlled proposal and due process is protected.

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