Campbell Brown's lawsuit challenging teacher tenure and other union-backed protections is gaining a new plaintiff: a non-union public school teacher from Albany.
DeLaine Wilson, a 15-year veteran pre-school teacher at the North Albany Academy YMCA, said in an interview with Capital on Thursday that New York's slate of teacher protections academically harmed students in upper grades at her school.
"We had honor roll students [at my school] and when it came to the Regents tests they weren't able to pass them," said Wilson, who has four children who attend public schools in Albany and was a member of the New York State United Teachers when previously she taught at a private school.
Wilson, who is joining the lawsuit along with her husband, Roderick Wilson, said she believes eliminating the current teacher tenure laws will "hold more teachers accountable."
"Tenure makes them comfortable," she said, adding she would try to convince unionized teachers that potentially eliminating tenure and other protections would help all teachers perform better.
If the argument is that tenure makes teachers comfortable so they don't actually care whether children do well on Regents tests or not, whether they learn or not, it's not a "highly effective" argument.
The state's new teacher evaluation law holds teachers accountable for their students' test scores, including Regents scores.
40% of a teacher's evaluation is based on so-called student performance - 20% from local measures of performance (which may include tests or performance assessments) and 20% from state measures (like Regents exams.)
DeLaine Wilson can join Campbell Brown's anti-tenure bandwagon (if there's room on it, since Mona Davids and Sam Pirozzolo are already there and fighting with Brown over the direction of the lawsuit), but I am skeptical that argument she's bringing onto the bandwagon will help much since it's easily refuted by the parameters of the APPR teacher evaluation law.
And while some deformers may counter that most teachers were deemed "effective" or "highly effective" in the state so that the APPR system has no teeth, I would note that teachers in Rochester, Buffalo and other urban districts with high poverty found out just how much teeth the system has when overwhelming numbers of them were rated "developing" or "ineffective" on the evaluation system.
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