NYC teachers launch major TV blitz calling for Albany to put in place a meaningful teacher evaluation system now
Educators 4 Excellence 30 Second Spot Features NYC Teachers Calling on Albany to Implement Meaningful Evaluation System Now
E4E: Another Artificial Deadline Will Simply Kick the Can Down the Road and Make Implementation Even More Difficult
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February 19, 2013 (New York, NY) – Educators 4 Excellence (E4E), the teacher led education organization, launched a 30-second television ad buy today calling on Albany to immediately pass and implement a real and meaningful teacher evaluation and support system. The ad buy marks the first time classroom teachers have taken to the airwaves in support of better evaluation.
The ad blitz comes more than a month after New York City and UFT failed to reach an agreement on a new evaluation system, costing schools more than $250 million in state funding. While Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers vowed to step in and pass their own plan if a deal wasn’t reached, Albany may allow the UFT and City to continue negotiating until mid-September. E4E is calling on leaders in Albany to not delay any further and impose an evaluation system now so that planning can start immediately and the system can be in place by the start of 2013 school year, as mandated by state and federal requirements.
The 30-second television advertisement entitled “Better,” features three New York City public school teachers and is running in heavy rotation on broadcast and cable television in the City for at least the next week.
“With no local deal in sight, the time has come for our leaders in Albany to step in and implement a real and meaningful evaluation system that will give teachers the critical feedback and support they need to help their students grow,” said Jonathan Schleifer, Executive Director of Educators for Excellence - New York. “Teachers and students need immediate action, and by hitting the airwaves, we hope our leaders in Albany will hear the pleas of classroom teachers and deliver for them and the city’s 1.1 million school kids.”
According to state law, a new evaluation system is supposed to be in place and in use by September 2013. If the current impasse continues, New York City runs the real risk of losing hundreds of millions more dollars and of not having enough time to train principals and teachers on the new measures to ensure they are effective.
“We’ve already lost hundreds of millions of dollars and now we’re losing valuable time. Implementing new evaluations by September as planned is going to be extremely difficult if we don’t get a system in place immediately,” said Susan Keyock, a 13-year veteran teacher who appears in the ad. “We’re looking to our leaders in Albany to fulfill a promise made to teachers and our students - to support us in providing the best education possible to our kids.”
In addition to Keyock, a special education teacher in the Bronx, the ad features Rafael Gondim, an ELA and math teacher in Queens, and Jemal Graham, a seventh grade math teacher in Queens. The teachers have a combined 25 years of classroom experience and are looking to a new evaluation system to tell them what they’re doing well and where they can improve.
“New York has missed every deadline for the implementation of this evaluation system and we simply can’t afford to kick the can down the road any longer,” said Sydney Morris, Co-Founder of Educators 4 Excellence. “Our teachers are tired of empty promises, ready for a system that will give them the feedback and support they need and deserve, and want enough time to be able to implement this effectively so that it actually improves teaching and learning.”
E4E-NY teachers released recommendations for a stronger evaluation system in 2011 and have been advocating for these changes ever since. Teachers want an evaluation system that would provide feedback based on a variety of new measures, including multiple observations, student growth data, student surveys and teacher professionalism.
In addition to the ads, E4E members will spend their vacation day on Tuesday collecting petition signatures from fellow New Yorkers to call on Albany to act now and support great teaching and learning in the city’s public schools.
To view the ad, contact Kerri Lyon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-348-2191.
For far too long, education policy has been created without a critical voice at the table – the voice of classroom teachers.
Educators 4 Excellence (E4E), a teacher-led organization, is changing this dynamic by placing the voices of teachers at the forefront of the conversations that shape our classrooms and careers. With a quickly growing national network of over 8,000 educators united by the E4E Declaration of Teachers’ Principles and Beliefs, E4E teachers can learn about education policy and research, network at E4E’s event series with like-minded colleagues and important education policymakers, and take action by advocating for teacher-created policy recommendations that lift student achievement and the teaching profession.
For more information, please visit www.educators4excellence.org.