Dear NYSUT member,
Today we celebrate a significant breakthrough in public education.
Thanks to the dedicated, non-stop activism of NYSUT members in solidarity with parents, the era of test-and-punish is on its way out!
We are proud to share with you this week's major developments that open the door for a much-needed transformation in public education.
In a just-released report, the state's Common Core Task Force -- appointed by the governor -- is calling for:
- Empowering New York State teachers to create developmentally appropriate New York State standards for New York State students;
- Immediately reducing the time allotted to state tests, and making future reductions in both test duration and the number of testing days;
- Modifying the new state standards and tests for our students with disabilities and English language learners, and eliminating double testing for our English language learners; and
- Banning for a minimum of four years the use of state test scores in teacher evaluations.
The state Board of Regents is expected to vote in January on these recommendations, which would then immediately take effect.
Meanwhile, after tireless advocacy by AFT and NEA, President Obama signed legislation yesterday that bars the federal government from mandating the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers.
These changes -- vital to end the high-stakes pressure that has eroded the joy of teaching and learning -- are the direct result of the dedicated activism of NYSUT members and parents.
THANK YOU for everything you have done: the rallies, forums, testimony, letters, e-blasts, protests and more. Your union called, and you answered.
We are grateful to each and every member, parent and activist whose passion and dedication on behalf of students has brought us to this moment. A sea change is underway in public education, both here in New York state and at the federal level. This is an amazing achievement -- and it is a shared achievement.
But make no mistake: We are not done.
Now we must redouble our efforts to ensure these and other necessary and transformative changes are realized in every classroom across New York State.
As we press forward on all the vital priorities that remain, we are inspired by this belief:
Together, we can move mountains.