continued “It gives us a chance to continue doing what we’ve been working on already,” Patterson said. “Our teachers have been working really hard to use the right standards. For them, it’s not about the assessments. It’s about meeting the standards.”
In addition to the delay in implementation of graduation requirements, the measures approved by the Regents came from a report issued by a 17-member task force and included the following:
Rejection of any teacher evaluation system that contains standardized testing for children in kindergarten through second grade.
A 1 percent cap on the percentage of time districts can spend on student testing used for teacher evaluations.
A one-year delay in providing student names and addresses to third-party data management vendors such as the controversial non-profit company inBloom.
A request for a federal waiver so students with severe disabilities can take exams based on their instructional level rather than their chronological age.
A request for a federal waiver allowing English language learners to take a language acquisition test rather than the English language arts test in their first two years.
A request for $8.4 million in the state budget to develop enough test questions so more questions that have been used on tests can be released to teachers and parents.
The committee had also recommended that teachers be allowed the opportunity to appeal termination in the case of two “ineffective” evaluations, allowing them to argue that they shouldn’t be held accountable for poor student test scores if their district didn’t provide them with adequate training and materials to comply with the new standards. However, given the controversy over the provision — NYSUT, the largest teachers’ union in the state, says state law already provides that protection for teachers, and they along with state legislators are seeing a moratorium on the use of student test scores in teacher evaluations and student placements — the Regents have tabled the teacher evaluation item until April.