ALBANY, N.Y. May 8, 2018 – New York State United Teachers, joined by a coalition of educators and state lawmakers, today called on Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan to immediately move to protect students by reducing high-stakes standardized testing and fixing the state’s broken teacher evaluation system.
NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said parents and educators remain angry and frustrated by the over-emphasis on standardized testing and how the misuse of fill-in-the-bubble tests continues to poison the teaching and learning environment.
“The test-and-punish teacher evaluation system is broken and now is the time to fix it,” Pallotta said, noting that 49 senators – including a majority of Republican senators – are sponsors or co-sponsors of the measure introduced by Education Chairman Sen. Carl Marcellino.
“By immediately bringing S.8301 to the floor for a vote on its merits, the Senate can protect students, honor local control and help put the focus back on what matters most to parents and educators – and that’s teaching and learning,” Pallotta said. “It’s time to let teachers teach, let students learn and let the Senate vote.”
Pallotta said S.8301 and its companion legislation – A.10475 – “go a long way toward lifting the plague of over-testing and fixing the evaluation system by returning control over teacher evaluations to school districts and teachers.” It allows them to collectively bargain performance review systems that help teachers grow professionally while meeting the unique needs of their students. It also gives school districts needed flexibility to curtail testing, especially in the early grades, and bars standardized test scores from becoming a part of students’ permanent records.
The Assembly voted 131-1 last week to begin repairing the breach in trust between parents and educators on one side, and the state testing and evaluation system on the other.
Learn more about S.8301 and the union's call for New York State to "let us teach and let them learn" and take action by contacting your NYS Senator at www.nysut.org/letusteach.
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.