NYSUT: Education Reform is “Far From Over”
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.
During his closing remarks Thursday night, Flanagan said the reforms are the product of concerns from both parents and teachers across New York.
“This week, we came to a resolution on issues that we all heard about while we were home during the budget and our break,” Flanagan said, “and we tried to do reforms that were parent and student centered, and I believe we accomplished that. And there was no way that was going to happen if we didn’t listen to our constituents.”
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.
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