An ad released by the education reform group StudentsFirstNY on Tuesday praised Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers for reaching an agreement on a package of teacher evaluation criteria changes and other school policy measures in the state budget.

“Governor Cuomo laid out an incredibly ambitious statewide education reform agenda, and with the support of the Senate and Assembly, delivered key and major reforms.,” said Jenny Sedlis, Executive Director of StudentsFirstNY. “While there’s still more to do this session on charters and the education investment tax credit, Governor Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Skelos fought hard to put students first and the public should know what was accomplished.”

The ad credits both the governor and the Legislature for approving a budget that reduces “the amount of student testing,” and would provide schools “with more resources and families more choices.”

The budget does increase school aid by $1.3 billion, but school districts must enact the evaluation change by mid-November in order to receive the boost in aid.

Schools deemed to be chronically under performing or “failing” could be put into receivership, closed and reopened as neighborhood schools.

At the same time, the budget agreement did make it easier for school districts to fire teachers deemed to be poor performing, regardless of tenure.

The ad comes as the statewide teachers union, as well as its allied education advocacy groups and the Working Families Party backs a growing effort to have students opt out of Common Core-based standardized testing as a way to dilute the impact of the tests on teacher performance reviews.

StudentsFirstNY has been largely aligned with Cuomo on education issues.