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Call for teacher evaluation changes in NY

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN-TV) - There are eight days of session left for this legislative year, which means people are coming out in droves to the Capitol to make sure their bills see a vote.

Floating yellow balloons in front of Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan's office, Dozens of teachers and members of the teacher's union, literally waved their support in favor of a bill that would change the way teachers are evaluated.

"All they need to do is put it on the floor and pass it, so we don't know why it's not getting done," Andrew Pallota, President of NYSUT, said.

The bill would end the requirement that state test scores must account for half of a teacher's evaluation. In recent years, there has been fallout from using these exams, causing about 20 percent of students in New York to stop taking them in protest.

In 2015, the state agreed to temporarily suspend using the standardized test scores on teacher evaluations through 2020. This new bill would make this permanent and force the state Education Department to come up with an alternative way to evaluate teachers.

"It would allow teachers to get back to doing what they do best which is to teach kids, and students to learn without the pressure of these standardized tests looming over them," Jolene DiBrango, VP of NYSUT and former teacher from Rochester, said.

The bill has already passed in the Assembly. The bill is currently stalled in the Senate, despite 55 out of the 63 Senators sponsoring it.

One of the Senator's not sponsoring the bill is Senator John DeFrancisco, the Deputy Republican Leader.

"This bill is not in my high priority list," Senator John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) said.

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