Cuomo’s Proposed Education Reforms Prompt Local NYSUT Response

By Love and Rage

UTICA AREA – In response to the most recent proposed school reforms, the state teacher’s union, NYSUT (New York State United Teachers) is working to mobilize its members to build community-wide coalitions to save public education.

The first action locally will be held today at 5:30 PM. The presidents of the local school boards are holding a meeting at BOCES on Middle Settlement Road in New Hartford.

NYSUT is calling on all CNY locals to greet the board members as they enter the building. Supporters are encouraged to bring signs and let the local school boards know where teachers and residents stand on the reform. NYSUT and others involved feel that now is the time to act to protect our students from excessive standardized testing and to protect our teachers from bogus evaluation methods.

Other forms of action include writing letters to Congressman Hanna.

Proposed Reforms

Teacher evaluations (mitigating local power):

  • 50 percent teacher evaluation will be based on state tests.
  • 35 percent will be observation by a third party, independent of the local school.
  • 15 percent principle (local) observation.

Weaken due process to make it easier to fire teachers and principals.

Increase funding for charter schools.

Closing the lowest performing schools (mainly inner-city) and replacing them with charter schools (especially in Buffalo). In effect, turning poor schools into trade schools and turning the profession of teaching into low-wage temp work.

Force small and rural districts into mergers.

The working conditions of teachers are the learning conditions of students. The current reforms undermine the very notion of public education in favor of corporate-owned schools who do not consider the students or teachers beyond the status of customers and workers.

Locals working with NYSUT plan to hold follow-up meetings and discussions in the coming weeks.

Click here for a link to the Facebook event.

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