Thursday, May 28, 2015

40 Schools chiefs demand suspension of NY education bill

Schools chiefs demand suspension of NY education bill:

Schools chiefs: Suspend NY education bill

Superintendents representing 40 local school districts want an immediate suspension of the state's recently enacted education reform legislation, saying it puts into place a flawed system which will ultimately harm students.
Nearly 200 educators and parents gathered Thursday morning at Harrison High School to denounce Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature Education Transformation Act of 2015. Elements of the bill, which deal with teacher evaluations, the use of testing and teacher tenure, run counter to research and will result in loss of local control, they said.
"It's time for New York state to get it right," said Harrison Schools Superintendent Louis Wool. "We are not looking for a delay. We are looking for this to go away."
The Harrison conference was one of two held simultaneously. The other, with school officials and parents from Nassau and Suffolk counties, was hosted on Long Island. Anonline petition asking for the bill to be suspended has been signed by more 1,200 people. It went up Thursday morning.
Cuomo and the Legislature approved a new set of laws pertaining to the teacher evaluation system and tenure in the state budget adopted April 1. The state Education Department is charged with implementing the specifics of the law by June 30. Districts would then have until Nov. 15 to adopt the new standards.
In a first draft of the regulations released by the Education Department earlier this month, schools could seek a two-month hardship waiver to delay the implementation of evaluations. Districts could seek additional two-month delays after the current one expires.
Under the proposal, a teacher's evaluation would be based on a complex matrix that decides a teacher's score based on student performance and classroom observations by administrators.
The test score measure is structured so it becomes the most significant determinant in a teacher's overall rating. For example, if a teacher is rated highly effective in classroom observations, but has an ineffective rating on the test scores, the teacher can only be rated ineffective or developing.
"The draft regulations are trying to implement a broken, punitive law," Valhalla Schools Superintendent Brenda Myers said. "There is no hope for the regulations because they are based on a broken theory."
The legislation prohibits the use of all other measures of teacher practice, including Schools chiefs demand suspension of NY education bill: