ALBANY, N.Y. April 23, 2015 - New York State United Teachers today said Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch's announcement that the State Education Department will administratively extend the deadline for school districts to submit new teacher evaluation plans until September 2016 is a "responsible step" toward acknowledging an unrealistic timeline.
"The teacher evaluation system plan adopted with the state budget does nothing to advance teaching and learning," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "It places far too much weight on state standardized tests and undermines local control. The Regents have an opportunity to mitigate this, and we welcome the opportunity to work productively with them to make it better. Chancellor Tisch's call for the State Education Department to use its administrative authority to extend the deadline for school districts and local unions to negotiate new plans is a responsible step that acknowledges unrealistic deadlines set in the budget. It is a start toward providing the necessary breathing room that, we hope, will result in a fair and objective evaluation system that will benefit teachers and, most of all, students."
NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino said a May 7 hearing called by the State Education Department is an opportunity to involve key stakeholders in the process of developing regulations that will shape the new evaluation system. "Input from educators and school leaders about what can work - and what won't - will provide important guidance from the field that can help lead to improvements," Fortino said.
Fortino reiterated the union's call for individual Regents to hold public hearings to solicit input on the evaluation system.
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andrew Pallotta said, "NYSUT will continue to work with legislators to address problems with the new teacher evaluation system adopted as part of the state budget."
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.