SUPPORT MEMO: END THE MISUSE OF STANDARDIZED TESTING IN TEACHER EVALUATIONS

A783 Benedetto, et al/S1262 Mayer

The New York State AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union workers and their families, as well as our retirees and their families, supports the above referenced legislation.

This bill would fix the flawed and unfair annual professional performance review (APPR) system for teachers and principals. The legislation amends education law to eliminate the mandatory use of state assessments to determine a teacher or principal's evaluation and authorize the selection and use of alternative assessments through collective bargaining. This legislation also removes the sunset clause on provisions that prohibit standardized test scores from being included on a student’s permanent record.

The misuse of standardized tests and the state’s over-reliance on testing have plagued the learning climate in schools and classrooms for years. There are better and more effective ways to evaluate students and educators. Continuing to subject kids to exhausting tests that neither improve instruction nor accurately measure achievement is not sound policy.

This legislation would let educators teach and let students learn by allowing school districts and their unions to design their own fair and effective evaluation system that will help teachers grow professionally while meeting the unique needs of their own communities.

This bill will ensure that students and teachers are viewed and valued as more than just a test score and will help restore parents' faith in our education system.

Therefore, this Federation urges that this bill be passed.