SENATOR MARCELLINO'S STATEMENT ON THE SENATE'S PASSAGE OF EDUCATION REFORMS
This agreed-upon compromise is far better than the plan originally advanced by Governor Cuomo. We listened to the issues raised by teachers, administrators, parents and others, and made key changes to what was being proposed - - just like we said we would do throughout this entire process. In short, we kept our word.
I believe we have to strive to take politics out of education so we can get back to focusing on what’s in the best interest of our kids. The education reform compromise that is included in this budget meets the needs of our students, and is more sensible and less onerous than what the Governor was pushing us to adopt.
We put the issue into the hands of the State Education Department (SED) to ensure teacher evaluation criteria are developed by education professionals with extensive input from all stakeholders, not unilaterally by politicians. SED will develop recommended guidelines for consideration by the Board of Regents. Parents, teachers, school officials, and the general
public will have every opportunity to share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions as part of the process, just as they should.
Will there be tests, yes and we need to make sure that the tests are fair to both the student and teacher. But there will be – or at least should be – less testing, because the budget tasks the State Education Department with looking for ways to further reduce time spent on tests.
I have long advocated for and Chancellor Tisch now agrees that there should be an exemption for high performing schools. You can read her statement here:
This will go a long way from having a one size fits all policy.
Change is hard and the tenure process will be more stringent, but the result of having better teachers in the classroom is something we all agree is an important goal.
As a former teacher, I am one of the strongest supporters of public education you will ever meet. I want to ensure that every classroom is led by an outstanding teacher and that every student is given the opportunity to reach their full potential. That’s why I worked with my colleagues to ensure that Long Island received a $168.5 million increase in state school
aid and why we were relentless in convincing the Governor and Assembly to join us in restoring $100.9 million of the Gap Elimination Adjustment.
As the NYS School Board Associations says in their statement, “All in all, school boards have been given additional resources and tools they need to invest in educational programs and improve teaching quality.”
Statement provided by Senator Marcellino's Press Office
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