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NY teachers union fights to separate test scores and evaluations

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Teachers might have a longer waiting period before student test scores are used as a part of their evaluation.

"This is from Speaker Carl Heastie," Andy Pallotta, the President of NYSUT, said.

This Assembly bill announcement, Pallotta the president of the teacher's union is showing, would have separated student test scores from teacher evaluations. The bill did pass in the Assembly last year but failed in the Senate.

"We want to change the law once and for all and return to locals and local school districts control over their own evaluation process."

Right now, there is an existing moratorium through the 2019 to 2020 school year, giving the board of regents time to gather input from the community, before student test scores are used for teacher evaluations . New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says she might be asking for an extension on the moratorium if the legislature fails to act.

"We are starting to work to gather information from the people that are actually affected by that and that is our teachers. So they should be the designers of what would be a quality evaluation," Elia said.

This announcement comes on the heels of a lawsuit that the teacher's union filed Wednesday in the State Supreme Court. The lawsuit, while not centered on test scores, focuses on another aspect of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act when it comes to poor-preforming schools.

The teacher's union argues that only allowing high performing teachers to transfer to academically troubled schools violates collective bargaining rules.

"It's very unfair and I believe disrespectful to the contracts that were negotiated with the school district," Pallotta said.

Local teacher unions in Syracuse and Rochester joined the lawsuit.


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