A memorandum of opposition from the New York Stated United Teachers union being circulated with state lawmakers urges them to reject major provisions of the education reform proposals that are in the spending plan’s framework.
The memo comes after state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a framework deal, but specifics on the agreement through budget bill language remain elusive.
Still, some of the details of the education reform proposals in the budget, according to the administration, include proposals opposed by the union — namely changes to teacher evaluation criteria, tenure and the 3020A proceedings which make it easier for districts to fire poorly performing teachers.
“These proposals will likely eliminate tenure, collective bargaining rights and due process for educators,” the memo states. “Further, this will strongly discourage educators with high-needs populations, children living in poverty, English Language learns, or children with disabilities.
NYSUT states the organization opposes the use of outside evaluations as well as what it sees as the “loss” of collective bargaining in the evaluation system.
“The building principal or superintendent is the appropriate person to conduct observations, not someone with no or limited experience or someone with limited knowledge of the teacher being evaluated,” the memo states.
Similarly, the effort to have tenure reformed to four years, with three years of good performance ratings of “effective” — a proposal that NYSUT states is “impossible for a new teacher to attain.”
Kudos to NYSUT for working the legislature and trying to push back on what Cuomo claims is in the agreement framework.
But quite frankly, we don't know what's in the budget education bills because nobody's actually seen them.
Cuomo claims he made government functional again but I don't know what's functional about passing a budget with all kinds of policy in it that nobody gets to read beforehand.
Sounds more like functional totalitarianism to me, not functional democracy.
I hope NYSUT continues to sound the bell and call for mass opt outs across the state.
The only way to deal with a government run by political whores like Andrew Cuomo who are funded by a shadowy cadre of billionaires and Wall Street criminals and who push through policies opposed by the majority but supported by their wealthy backers is to expose that government and its functionaries as bereft of legitimacy.