ALBANY, NY — Fixing New York’s broken teacher evaluation system is long overdue. Parents and teachers are rightly angry and frustrated. The misuse of standardized tests and the state’s over-reliance on testing continue to plague the learning climate in our classrooms.
There are far better ways to evaluate educators than to use mystery math and algorithms that spit out invalid ‘growth scores’ while subjecting kids to exhausting fill-in-the-bubble tests that aren’t particularly useful or accurate.
This new legislation would prohibit the mandated use of state tests — including Regents exams and grades 3-8 ELA and math tests — in individual teacher evaluations. School districts and their teacher unions would be able to design their own effective and fair evaluation systems that help teachers to grow professionally while meeting the unique needs of their own communities. Local control is the best way to restore the trust and confidence of parents and teachers and help restore respect for the teaching profession.
We thank Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Education Chairwoman Cathy Nolan for listening to parents and educators and introducing a bill that would ensure that students and teachers are once again valued as more than a test score. We look forward to working with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Senate to reduce the testing burden and enact this fairer evaluation system before the end of the legislative session.
New York State United Teachers represents over 600,000 members.