May 14, 2015
Albany, N.Y. – Assemblymembers John T. McDonald III (D-Cohoes) and Patricia A. Fahy (D-Albany) announced their support of a recently introduced bill that they are co-sponsoring in the New York State Assembly. The legislation (A.7303-A) provides more time to devise and implement a new teacher and principal evaluation system, protects vital funding for our schools and ensures that state assessments are grade-level appropriate.
“If we have learned one thing about reforming our education system, it is that the right changes take time. Reforms should be carefully and methodically implemented so that our schools and our children do not suffer. We have entrusted the Board of Regents – a group of dedicated education experts who actually understand what goes on in the classroom – to create an evaluation system that makes sense for our students, but we need to give these experts enough time to craft an effective system” said Members Fahy and McDonald.
Specifically, the bill:
1.Extend the deadline for the Regents to adopt regulations from June 30 to November 17, 2015 to align the amount of time provided to adopt regulations with the State Administrative Procedure Act.
2.Delink the increase in state aid to implementation of a new annual teacher and principal evaluation system
3.Extend by one year the deadline for districts to fully implement the new APPR requirements (November 15, 2016), or by September 1 of each subsequent year.
4.Amend 3012-d (new teacher evaluation law) to:
◦modify the definition of “state-designed supplemental assessment” to include “other locally selected measures of student achievement” which must be approved by SED and
◦Modify the teacher observation category to allow, instead of require, districts to use the independent trained evaluator subcomponent as part of a voluntary demonstration project that may be established by the department
5.Provide $8.4m to print increased test forms for grades 3-8 ELA and math assessments and eliminate stand-alone multiple choice field tests and release a significant amount of tests questions and answers by June 1st of each year
6.Require state-provided growth models (for grades 4-8 ELA and math teachers) to take into consideration certain student characteristics such as students with disabilities and English language learners, poverty status, etc.
7.Require creation of content review committee to ensure that grades 3-8 ELA and math tests are grade level appropriate
8.Require commissioner to review Common Core education standards and make recommendations for potential modification.
“It is our firm belief this legislation will find bi-partisan support during the remaining weeks of the legislative session and we will work through the remainder of session to see that these concerns, expressed consistently from all stakeholders in the education system, are enacted into law” said Members Fahy and McDonald.