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Letter: NYSUT fully supports fair evaluation system

NYSUT fully supports fair evaluation system

New York State United Teachers is proud of the role we played – and will continue to play – in derailing the corporate-driven education “reform” agenda for a simple reason: It’s bad for our students and the state’s public schools.

In focusing on NYSUT’s political might, however, The News (“How the power of NYSUT upended education reform movement in New York,” March 27) overlooked the enormous influence that organized and mobilized parents had in convincing the Regents, legislators and others that these top-down, politically motivated changes – none of which, incidentally, was backed by credible research – were hurting students and schools.

And The News didn’t adequately address the merits of why parents and teachers took to the streets and “opted out” of developmentally inappropriate standards; poorly designed Pearson tests that mislabeled students, teachers and schools; and teacher evaluations built around unstable, inaccurate and invalid mathematical algorithms that spit out nonsensical “growth scores.”

To be clear, NYSUT has always and will always support high standards for students and teachers. Thanks to our ongoing partnership with engaged parents and activists, we now have a Board of Regents and Legislature that want to work with us – as professional educators – toward better New York standards, more appropriate assessments and a fairer and more meaningful evaluation system.

That’s not just NYSUT’s agenda. That’s the right agenda for New York students and its public schools.

Karen E. Magee

President

New York State United Teachers