Calling on the Assembly & Senate to Pass Legislation to Repair Public Education

Thursday, March 24, 2016

On March 20th Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky sponsored four bills that seek to offer relief to the children of New York. At a crowded press conference Assemblyman Kaminsky unveiled four legislative bills that seek to bring common sense back to education in New York State.  Assemblyman Kaminsky’s bills are an important start that will fix the damage done to education in New York State. 

In summary here is what the four legislative bills say:

A09626 - Immediately decouple teacher evaluations from test results and direct the Board of Regents to establish a committee to research and develop an alternate, research-based method for teacher evaluations, which will ensure that students and teachers both have better experiences in the classroom. 

A09578 - Repeal State Takeover of Failing Schools and put the school reform process back in the hands of local educators, parents, and other stakeholders who are in the best position to understand the specific needs of the school district. 

A09584 - Reduce testing by directing the Board of Regents to establish a committee to shorten the length of tests and find ways to increase their transparency. Additionally, tests would be given to students, parents and teachers so that they can be used to improve the manner in which teachers teach and students learn.

A09579 - Create an alternate pathway to graduation by establishing a Career and Practical Education (CPE) pathway to a high school diploma which would provide a valuable alternative for students who do not wish to take – or are unable to pass – the Regents exams. By teaching practical life skills and training students for a career, a CPE pathway will better prepare all New York students for a future following high school. 

Here’s what informed parents and educators have to say about Assemblymen Kaminsky’s proposals:

“As we work towards meaningful changes in our education system, our laws must be corrected to allow for this positive change in direction for our children's education. This legislation will allow for a move towards research based policies that parents and educators have fought so hard for. The legislature, Board of Regents, and State Education Department, have identified the significant problems that have grown out of misguided education reforms. This legislation is an absolute necessity to right the wrongs of the Education Transformation Act and bring child centered education back to our classrooms.” - Jeanette Deutermann, Long Island parent and leader of Long Island Opt Out. 

"What Assemblyman Kaminsky has done here is about our children and something that parents have been advocating for. As a public educator, and parent, I am grateful that he is seeking solutions that are about and for our children. I am calling in all lawmakers to join with Assemblyman Kaminsky in righting a ship that has sailed grossly off course.” – Marla Kilfoyle, Long Island public education teacher and parent.

"Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky's bill proposals aim to put children at the center of public education policy. His bills will provide the autonomy and flexible school communities must have to meet the diverse needs of all children, while creating a system that moves away from punitive and draconian policies toward a more nurturing and supportive infrastructure. I strongly support Assemblyman Kaminsky's Bill proposals." - Jamaal Bowman, father, and principal of CASA Middle School in the Bronx. 

“It is imperative to pass this package of legislation that will reverse the laws that have stolen our classrooms and to make sure every child in New York has access to graduating with a high school diploma.” - Lisa Rudley, Westchester County public school parent and founding member of NYSAPE. 

LUT is encouraging all of our members to Take Action Today and contact your Assembly and Senate representatives to support and pass this legislation to begin to repair Public Education.

Portions of this article were taken from a press release from NYS Allies for Public Education (NYSAPE).
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