February 2013 Issue
January 30, 2013

Education commission to tackle more issues

Author: Sylvia Saunders
Source: NYSUT United
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NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira
advances the union's recommendations
during testimony before the
New NY Education Reform Commission.
Photo by El-Wise Noisette.

Although several rec-ommendations by the New NY Education Reform Commission, such as expanding pre-K and community schools, have gained the governor's support, the commission's work is far from finished.

A lot of issues important to NYSUT members will be addressed as the commission continues its factfinding before it releases a final report in September.

"NYSUT will continue to monitor the commission's work and make sure that the voice of the practioner is heard and reflected in the final report," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira.

The commission identified a variety of topics for further research, among them:

  • ways to improve teacher and leader recruitment and effectiveness, including potential improvements in teacher evaluation plans;
  • strategies to ensure that every student makes satisfactory progress toward meeting state standards;
  • policies to improve student attendance and retention;
  • education funding issues, comparing spending that goes into the classroom versus non-instructional spending and benefits;
  • explore ways to improve special education programs and outcomes for students while reducing costs;
  • ways to reduce transportation costs, including in rural areas;
  • methods to increase parent and family engagement;
  • identifying unique challenges for students in high-need urban and rural districts; and
  • best ways to encourage shared services and consolidation.
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