One of the worst ways to react to bad legislation such as last year's Education Transformation Act is to accept it. That is precisely what the New York State United Teachers and our own UFT are doing up in Albany this year.
This piece from WGRZ shows that the governor and NYSUT have agreed that last year's horrible education law does not need to be changed. That law includes receivership for an ever changing 5% of public schools where an outside receiver can be assigned to take over these so called struggling schools based on flawed student test scores and replace the teachers, evaluations of teachers using student test scores for 50% of teacher ratings, two years of ineffective ratings leading to a presumption of teacher incompetence and the burden of proof then shifting to the teacher in dismissal hearings, three years of ineffective ratings leads basically to almost certain firing unless there is fraud and new teachers will need four years of probation before being eligible to achieve tenure instead of three.
This year, instead of pushing to repeal this awful law, the unions are battling over funding supposedly because Cuomo's task force tweaked the law so it won't include the common core grades 3-8 tests in teacher ratings. Other tests will still be used to rate us. The Education Transformation Act remains in place unchanged. While proper education funding is a worthy aim, we should be pushling just as hard to repeal last year's anti-public education law.
The unions may be giving up on repealing last year's law but New York State Allies for Public Education are still fighting. They're not taking the situation in Albany lying down.
Parent groups that helped lead the test-refusal movement aren’t pleased – neither with the governor nor the teacher’s union, which provided a boost to the opt-out protest last year by offering public support.
Bianca Tanis, a special-education teacher and member of New York State Allies for Public Education’s steering committee, said the union and state lawmakers should be taking steps to reverse some of the Cuomo-backed reforms through law.
NYSAPE is one of the parent groups who helped lead the opt-out movement. She’s also part of a new effort – New York Rank & File – calling on the union to call for more legislative change.
“Yes, there’s a moratorium on using state test scores to evaluate teachers, but the law says teacher evaluations must be based in part on a performance measure,” said Tanis, a mother of two from New Paltz, Ulster County. “So we’re simply swapping out one test for another.”
Is swapping one test for another progress?
I don't think so.
Nor does a group called New York Rank and File. They want the Education Transformation Act repealed. That is the exact position this blog has taken.
Here is their action page. Go there and help out please.