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New York Abandons Use Of Student Tests In Teacher Evaluations

Standardized test
Standardized test Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Teacher evaluations will no longer be tied to student’s standardized test scores under a bill that was approved by state legislators.

Four years ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a highly contested bill into law that linked student’s test scores to teacher evaluations. The legislation quickly came under fire and was contested by both parents and educators.

The 2015 bill led to approximately 18 percent of students statewide opting out of standardized testing in grades 3 through 8.

Now, Cuomo is poised to sign a new bill backpedaling those measures. New York joins a growing coalition of stations that has spoken out against using testing to assess teachers. Previously, 50 percent of teachers' annual job ratings to be based on their students’ test scores on state standardized tests.

The bill will no longer require schools to use test scores as part of a teacher's evaluation. Instead, it will make that optional to individual districts and subject to collective bargaining. The bill passed the Assembly with just six representatives voting no and passed the Senate unanimously.

“Our teachers and students are more than their test scores,” Sen. Shelley Mayer, the bill sponsor, said in a statement. “Thank you to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my colleagues for changing state law to allow school districts to determine the most effective ways to measure student and teacher performance.”

“We applaud the Legislature for taking action to fix New York’s broken teacher evaluation system,” wrote New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta in a statement. “We will continue to advocate for a meaningful assessment system for New York students that will measure student progress more accurately and address the concerns raised by teachers and parents alike.”

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