ALBANY, N.Y. Oct. 5, 2016 — New York State United Teachers said the "demonstrable progress" made by nine of the state's "persistently struggling" schools shows the power of collaboration and the need for sustained investments in programs and staff.
NYSUT, however, again forcefully reiterated its opposition to the state's receivership statute, which uses flawed standardized tests to make high-stakes decisions that stigmatize students and their schools.
"Educators and community engagement teams in Hempstead, Buffalo, Rochester and New York City, supported by a commitment of additional resources and programs that work, made real, substantiated achievement gains," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "Their success — and students' success — should be celebrated. At the same time, we continue to point out the receivership law that mislabeled these schools in the first place must be repealed."
NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino noted that NYSUT worked collaboratively with its local affiliates, committing resources and additional professional development to ensure that educators and their students had greater opportunities to succeed. However, Fortino said, "Receivership is the wrong answer to the wrong question at the wrong time. These schools aren't persistently struggling — they are persistently under-resourced."
Fortino noted that the state cumulatively owes about $2.3 billion in promised Foundation Aid to districts with "persistently struggling schools," even as the state is back-tracking on the standardized tests used to mislabel these schools in the first place.
"The best way to turn around these schools permanently and provide every child with the opportunity to succeed is to make the necessary investments," Fortino said. "All students deserve the time, support and tools they need to learn at high levels."
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.