Next Fall School Districts Will Lose State Aid if Flawed Teacher Evaluation Plans That Drive More Testing Are Not in Place – ​Andrew Cuomo Refuses to Fix His Own Mistake

REVISED
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2016
More information contact:
Lisa Rudley (917) 414-9190; nys.allies@gmail.com
NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE) www.nysape.org
Link to Press Release


Next Fall School Districts Will Lose State Aid if Flawed Teacher Evaluation Plans That Drive More Testing Are Not in Place – ​Andrew Cuomo Refuses to Fix His Own Mistake

Despite the backlash and outcry of hundreds of thousands of parents across the state against the fatally flawed test and punish law forced into last year’s budget by the Governor, Cuomo and the Senate Majority refused to delink the financial consequences for this harsher plan in today’s budget bills. After the current State Education Department waiver expires, tests this upcoming Fall will increase to 50% of teacher and principal evaluations.

Albany had an opportunity through Assembly legislation (A09461) to remove the financial consequences to schools not going to a harsher evaluation plan that was already deemed problematic by the Governor’s own Common Core taskforce. Parents know this entire bad law must go including the financial penalties and Andrew Cuomo refuses to permanently fix the mistake he created.

While the Board of Regents put a “temporary” emergency moratorium to delink just the ‘state’ tests scores from teacher and principal evaluations, it remains that teachers and principals will STILL be evaluated based on student test scores which will increase to 50% this Fall. This essentially is a “no moratorium” moratorium.

Students will continue to be caught in the middle of a politically motivated test and punish culture built on testing reforms already rejected by research as “junk science” that is squeezing out authentic learning time from their children’s classrooms. Parents will not be complacent and the lies of funding threats and that the Common Core state tests have been “revamped” will not be tolerated. The testing law already on the books capping testing and test prep at more than 1% of instruction time is currently being violated in NYS and parents are not fooled. Parents will continue to refuse the Common Core state tests and any tests that are inappropriate and used for donor-driven purposes of punishing.

Cuomo and the Senate Majority should waste no more time and join willing partners to unravel this law and restore authority for education policy with the Board of Regents before the end of the school year. The days of punishing children and schools with politics will come to an end with or without them.

Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island public school parent and founder of Long Island Opt Out said, “until this test and punish culture ends, parents will continue to distrust the motives of our legislature. What exactly will it take for Albany to realize this is not what we want for our children? Elections are only months away. Legislators have a decision to make; stand with donor-driven Albany politics, or stand with voters. Sign on to legislation, such as the Kaminsky bills, that will offer permanent relief to our children, or play the partisan political game that gets us nowhere.”

Jamaal Bowman, Bronx educator and father of three said, “Continuing to drive education on these failed reforms is “educational malpractice”. Educational gaps by race are widening in this test and punish culture as it continues to strip teachers of the ability to meet the holistic needs of their students.”

“As an elected school board member, Governor Cuomo’s teacher evaluation law takes away our local control to evaluate our educators and replaces it with a costly numbers game that does not truly help our district improve instruction,” stated Chris Cerrone, public school parent, educator and school board member from Erie County.

Lisa Rudley, Hudson Valley public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE said, “as experience and common sense demonstrates, educational policies on critical issues such as teacher and principal evaluations and receivership should be decided by educational professionals or at least through separate bills, debated and discussed during public hearings, and not crammed into budget bills without expert input.”

“As an educator on Long Island, and as a parent of a public school child, the continued ignorance to the fact that test scores are not correlated with teacher quality is simply disgraceful! When will the Governor wake up and realize this hurts our children and our education system in New York,” said Marla Kilfoyle, Long Island public school parent, Executive Director of BATs.

NYSAPE, a grassroots coalition with over 50 parent and educator groups across the state, is calling on parents to continue to opt out by refusing high-stakes, inappropriate testing for the 2015-16 school year. Go to www.nysape.org for more details.

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