ALBANY, N.Y. October 9, 2018 — As teachers begin to receive their state-required evaluations, New York State United Teachers today characterized the mysterious “growth scores” that are pretending to measure their effectiveness as “not worth the paper they are printed on.”
“They should be tossed right into the wastepaper basket,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “New Yorkers overwhelmingly support their teachers and their public schools. They already know that our educators are caring, dedicated, professional — and highly effective with students. Parents are supportive and students are graduating at near record rates. They don’t need some mysterious mathematical algorithm cooked up in secret to tell them that. New Yorkers also know — as we at NYSUT most emphatically do —that students and their teachers are much more than their standardized test scores, especially when those scores are based on long, frustrating and unreliable state tests that don’t produce useful information for anyone.”
Pallotta added, “Bogus evaluations produced by the state, tied to indecipherable mathematical formulas and invalid, inaccurate standardized tests, are precisely why state legislators must act immediately to pass evaluation reform legislation.”
Pallotta noted that legislation to vastly improve the teacher evaluation process sailed through the Assembly last spring and the governor indicated he would sign it. Its Senate “same as” companion — S.8301 —garnered bi-partisan support from 55 of the 63 senators, but fell victim to the charter industry’s lust for even more funding in the session’s waning hours.
“This legislation makes the evaluation system fairer. It would once-and-for-all decouple these flawed standardized tests from teacher evaluations and permanently eliminate the state growth score. It would return evaluations to local control, where districts and local unions can decide, through collective bargaining, on performance review systems that meet the unique needs of their own communities,” Pallotta said. “Passing this bill — and eliminating junk science while ending the state’s testing obsession — will be NYSUT’s highest legislative priority. Teachers deserve evaluations which are fair; help them to hone their already high skill level, and meet the needs of their own students and communities. This bill does that.”
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.
FILE PHOTO: Teachers rally for fair teacher evaluation legislation at Senate district offices.