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NYSUT: State must restore trust in education reform process
By Bethany Bump on October 20, 2015 at 3:11 PM
Constant changes to New York education policy and flawed rollouts have caused teachers and parents to lose trust in the State Education Department, said New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee.
Magee spoke about this lack of trust on WCNY’s Capitol Pressroom Tuesday. Teachers have lost confidence in any new plans coming from the department and feel their feedback doesn’t matter, she told Susan Arbetter.
Her comments come nearly one week after educators told members of the Assembly’s education committee that they’re worn out by all the new education reform
legislation in recent years. At a public hearing on struggling schools last week, they said the constant changes have districts more caught up in compliance than actually improving anything.
“There continues to be an appearance that the plans have not been well thought out or well-developed,” Magee said Tuesday. “There’s no evidence of pilots happening…on a small-scale basis to identify what
the strengths and weaknesses are, to bring in the professionals and all the stakeholders, including the community, to discuss if a plan is working. Get real feedback like you would with any other plan and then make modifications before you go for the all-across-the-state rollout. We roll things out in the state and then wait to see what the consequence are.”
Magee also predicted that there will
be a “mad dash” by districts seeking waivers from the state by Oct. 30 that would exempt them from implementing new teacher evaluation systems. Student test scores will determine half of a teacher’s evaluation this year unless the State Education Department approves a waiver allowing a district to use the previous evaluation system, which gave student test scores a 20 percent weight in evaluations.