The New York State United Teachers union today said a delay in teacher evaluations until September 2016 would be a “responsible step.”
Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said yesterday that the state Education Department would administratively extend the deadline for school districts to submit new teacher evaluation plans from Nov. 15 to September 2016.
The union has pressed for a delay, saying that because the new evaluation system won’t be known until the end of June, having the evaluations in place by the districts is unrealistic.
“The teacher evaluation system plan adopted with the state budget does nothing to advance teaching and learning,” said NYSUT president Karen Magee in a statement. “It places far too much weight on state standardized tests and undermines local control. The Regents have an opportunity to mitigate this, and we welcome the opportunity to work productively with them to make it better.”
Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, also backed the delay.
“Rushing to implement a new teacher evaluation system would be misguided. We’ve been down this road before and we’ve seen where faulty and fast implementation of poorly conceived education changes leads,” she said in a statement. “Demonizing teachers, over-testing students and rushing major reforms will not improve our education system, it will only cause more problems.”
But Cuomo’s office yesterday urged Tisch to keep the Nov. 15 deadline, saying that that is what state law prescribes. And the state Business Council warned against a delay.
“From the very beginning we have been committed to enacting higher standards so our children have the tools necessary to compete for jobs in today’s workforce,” said Heather Briccetti, president of The Business Council. “It is regrettable that the wellbeing of our students has been sidetracked by a political fistfight over teacher evaluations that only prevents us from moving forward.”