ALBANY, N.Y. August 12, 2011 - New York State United Teachers today argued that specific regulations adopted by the Board of Regents in May governing teacher and principal evaluations violate state law and exceed the Regents' authority.
In oral arguments before state Supreme Court Justice Michael Lynch, NYSUT challenged several regulations that do not conform to state law, chief among them a regulation that allows school districts to double the weight of state standardized test scores in teacher evaluations.
Lynch reserved decision in the case.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi stressed the 600,000-member union remains fully committed to the development and implementation of a comprehensive, objective and fair system of evaluating teachers to improve student outcomes.
"New York was poised to take the lead in developing a thoughtful, comprehensive evaluation system created in collaboration with teachers and other stakeholders that would really strengthen both instruction in our classrooms and the teaching profession," Iannuzzi said. "NYSUT remains committed to an evaluation system that will enhance student learning by using multiple measures to assess student learning and teacher effectiveness."
At issue are specific Regents' regulations which NYSUT maintains are inconsistent with the statute adopted, with the support of NYSUT, by the Legislature and signed into law in May 2010. New York's new teacher and principal evaluation law was the foundation of New York's successful Round 2 application in the federal Race to the Top program, which awarded the state $697 million.
NYSUT, the state's largest union, represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.