Last June the Board of Regents approved a temporary teacher evaluation plan that placed more weight than ever before on standardized tests (roughly 50%), despite the fact that this has no basis in research or studies. This test-heavy plan threatens to continue to place undue stress on children, and to lead teachers to spend more time on tested subjects like math and English, and less on the rest, like science, social studies, art, etc.
Teachers may feel pressured to “teach to the test” because their jobs are at stake. In addition, the plan diverts money from schools and reduces principals’ authority by mandating an outside evaluator.
The Regents will be holding a vote at their September 16-17 meeting to make this law permanent, and we ask that you consider emailing the Regents to urge them to vote “no.” The June vote on the temporary plan was 11 yes to 6 no; the ‘no’ votes were cast by six deeply experienced educators, and some number of those Regents who did vote yes have publicly expressed their opposition in principle to the new law but have not committed to voting against it.
We are hopeful that with enough voices, this plan will be defeated, and a better, research-based plan that doesn’t pose a threat to our children’s educations can be created and adopted instead.
Click HERE for a sample email asking the Regents to vote NO, and HERE for an email thanking the Regents who voted No in June, encouraging them to do so again now. Remember to sign your name and zip code and indicate whether you are a parent or teacher before sending. If you have trouble with these links click HERE for a version that can be copied into an email.
If you prefer to write your own letter to the Regents you can find their contact info HERE.