ALBANY, N.Y. May 5, 2015 - New York State United Teachers said today that it will widely disseminate information on Thursday's State Education Department hearing on teacher evaluations even as it continues to press SED to do more to listen to and address New Yorkers' concerns.
EMAIL STATE ED. Your comments on the pending evaluation regulations should be sent to the State Education Department at email@example.com.
CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS. Visit NYSUT's Member Action Center to urge lawmakers to sign on to NYSUT's 9-point-plan to #ReclaimTheJoy of public education!
TUNE IN THURSDAY. The hearing will be streamed live online at www.nysed.gov/learning-summit. It's scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For members of the public watching the Summit simulcast on the NYSED.gov website, SED has set up an email address for Thursday, May 7 only: firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER. Be sure to follow @nysut and @nysednews for updates - and use the hashtag #ReclaimTheJoy.
SED says its Thursday "Learning Summit" is designed to get input from invited speakers to help the department draft regulations to implement Gov. Andrew Cuomo's teacher evaluation system.
Following the state budget's adoption, NYSUT has repeatedly called on SED to address significant problems with Gov. Cuomo's evaluation plan - by holding multiple hearings to listen to parents and educators and giving the public time to review and respond to draft regulations once they are formulated.
Because this single summit limits participation, NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said the union would provide up-to-the-minute information to parents and educators via Twitter and on its website to broaden access to and provide commentary on the event, which can be viewed as a webcast on www.nysed.gov/learning-summit.
"Thursday's summit should be the beginning of a public process that ensures the Regents and State Education Department can listen to parents and educators' concerns," Magee said. "Teachers and parents support reducing the emphasis on standardized tests and developing an evaluation system that is fair, objective, and helps advance teaching and learning."
NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino said while the union is also urging the public to comment via email at Eval2015@nysed.gov, SED must do more - and do it more proactively - to address the anger and frustration of parents and educators. She said, "SED has already experienced the disastrous effects of its rushed and rocky roll out of new modules and tests. It is essential that parents, educators and community members have the opportunity to thoughtfully weigh in after the draft regulations are released at the Regents' meeting in mid-May."
"The deadlines imposed by the governor are clearly unrealistic," Fortino said. "Still, the Regents and SED have a responsibility, after the draft regulations are written, to listen carefully to all the stakeholders and work to avoid another potentially damaging mandate that hurts students, educators and schools."
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.