The state’s largest teachers union said in a statement Friday that while there were “significant advances” for educators this session, they’ll be back next year for more.
The bill to end this year’s legislative session included several reforms to the state’s education policy coupled with rent regulations, property tax relief, and more.
Under the new law, test questions will be disclosed and available for teachers, though there have been conflicting reports as to whether they’re allowed to discuss it with colleagues and administrators.
A committee will also be tasked with reviewing curriculum, including the Common Core learning standards. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said yesterday they’ll be looking at whether state exams are age-appropriate and if the timeline of those tests is effective.
NYSUT chalks all of these changes of up as a win for this session, but says they’re committed to easing the burden on teachers and students that comes with state-mandated policies.
“The battle for the future of public education is far from over,” NYSUT said in a statement. “In concert with parents, NYSUT will continue to oppose over-testing, press for fair evaluations and redouble our efforts to provide students and educators, from pre-k through post-grad, with the tools they need to excel.”
The final deal did not include a delay for the development of a new teacher evaluation system, meaning districts who are not able to meet the requirements by the November deadline will have to apply for a waiver.
Lawmakers also ended up ditching a proposed $100 million for struggling schools as part of the deal, an idea pitched by Governor Cuomo earlier this month. Yonkers Public Schools will still receive $25 million in aid, but the remaining $75 million was left out.
But the governor did secure more aid for private and parochial schools. The Education Investment Tax Credit (or Parental Choice in Education Act) was not included, but $250 million will go to non-public schools to cover mandates from the state.
If this year's legislative session was a win with "significant advances," I'd hate to see what a loss looks like.
New evaluation system imposed by the governor meant to find more teachers "ineffective" and "developing" - Cuomo said the last one wasn't getting enough of those ratings.
Under the new system, test scores count for about 50% of a teacher's rating.
There is no delay on the new evaluation system deadline - it must be in place by November.
Teachers can now talk about the Common Core tests - but only after they have already been released to the public.
NYSED has to put together a rubber stamp committee to review the Common Core standards - since the new NYSED commissioner is a huge fan, you can bet they won't find much wrong with them.
Cuomo had promised $100 million for "struggling" public schools north of NYC but instead came in with $250 million for private and parochial schools.
The charter cap was raised and charter schools can now save 15% of their slots for family members of employees and/or employees of the charter management organizations.
And of course none of the new evaluation changes count for charter schools - the new system only counts for public schools.
These are the "significant advances" NYSUT touts today.
Whatever they're smoking, it must be strong stuff because they're delusional about the "significant advances" and "wins" this session.
As usual, everything in AFT/UFT/NYSUT-land is a "win."
But this year was no win - it was a rout.