ALBANY, N.Y. May 18, 2015 - NYSUT leaders said today that they continue to press on multiple fronts to fix the unworkable and destructive evaluation policy imposed in the budget by Gov. Cuomo.
Responding to today's release by the State Education Department of a framework for new regulations on evaluations, NYSUT President Karen E. Magee said: "We are deeply disappointed in the draft recommendations presented today to the Board of Regents. It appears the State Education Department has not been listening to the concerns of students, parents or educators. They, more than anyone else, know best what's happening in our schools."
Magee stressed that NYSUT continues to advocate fiercely with both the Legislature and the Regents for testing and evaluation policies that are fair to educators and good for students.
NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino, as the union's representative to the Board of Regents, said: "We were heartened to see pushback by several members of the Board of Regents at today's meeting as they questioned SED's overly narrow approach to remedying problems with the evaluation policy.
"But NYSUT is disappointed in the weight provided to the state tests and independent evaluators. This is not good policy."
Meanwhile, NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta reiterated the union's support for the Assembly bill on testing and evaluation expected to be taken up today by the Assembly Education Committee, chaired by Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan.
"We thank Speaker Carl Heastie and Chair Nolan for their continued commitment to public education," Pallotta said. "This bill, while not everything that parents and educators are asking for, would reduce the overemphasis on state tests, mitigate some of the worst aspects of the governor's 'test-and-punish' evaluation system, and be an important step forward.
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.
Via Newschannel 13: "We're strongly recommending to each of the regents to take this proposal and go out into the field and to listen to the stakeholders," noted Catalina Fortino, NYSUT Vice President.
Fortino says the state test scores would now weigh heavily on a teacher's effectiveness.