ALBANY, N.Y. June 17, 2013 - New York State United Teachers acknowledged Chancellor Merryl Tisch and the Board of Regents for listening to the concerns of educators and taking a step Monday towards 'getting it right' by delaying use of a Value-Added Model until at least 2014-15.
In private conversations with individual Regents and in the voices of more than 15,000 at the One Voice United rally on June 8, teachers and other educators have been expressing deep concern at the speed in which New York state has been moving implementation of new Common Core Learning Standards and new assessments. The use of an untested, unreliable Value-Added Model, which could have been adopted at today's Regents meeting and applied retroactively to this current school year and April's standardized tests - would have further undermined the shaky roll-out of the Common Core and new assessments, which were given in April before many teachers had even taught - or themselves received - the required materials, NYSUT said.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi commended the Regents for hearing the concerns of educators and responding thoughtfully. "The Regents are acknowledging that a temporary pause is, in fact, a step toward implementing the Common Core correctly and recognition that accountability must be balanced by fairness for both students and teachers. Instead of doubling down on a bad bet, the Regents today moved to do what's in students' and teachers' best interests and that's 'getting it right.'"
"NYSUT, as the voice of teachers across the state, remains committed to working as partners with the Regents and other policymakers toward our shared goal of raising standards and improving outcomes for all students," Iannuzzi said.
NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira commended the chancellor and Regents for recognizing that a strong Value-Added Model depends on a reliable baseline - one that is not yet in place.
"Today's action by the Regents acknowledges that, and allows school districts and teachers to proceed with this year's evaluations as envisioned by the law," Neira said. "The Regents listened to the concerns of educators, who welcome accountability but have clearly conveyed that evaluations must be based on criteria that is clearly defined, fair and transparent."
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.