New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this week vetoed a bill that would place a two-year moratorium on the use of Common Core test results to evaluate teachers, and the New York State United Teachers federation (NYSUT) is not too pleased.
Cuomo proposed the bill in June saying its purpose was to protect teachers and “New York’s standing as a national leader in teacher evaluation” from the “flawed” Common Core evaluation methods.
The bill—which received ample support from legislative leaders and NYSUT—came after the state legislature excluded, for two years, the use of Common Core tests to determine whether students moves on to a higher grade or held back.
Six months later, on Monday, Cuomo vetoed the same bill, saying the policy did not “fix the foundational issues with the teacher evaluation system.” The veto follows the release of the 2013-2014 school year’s evaluation scores by the New York Department of Education. The report found that 95 percent of New York public school teachers were ranked as “effective” or “highly effective,” results that Cuomo called “not an accurate assessment” and “inflated.”
“Given what we know now, it would make no sense to sign this bill and further inflate these already inflated ratings,” the governor said in a statement. “Instead it is critical that we make systemic improvements to the evaluation system so that it acts as a rigorous, accurate, and reliable measure that will allow districts and schools to meaningfully differentiate between educators.”
After news of Cuomo’s veto, NYSUT released an official statement accusing the governor of having “reneged on an agreement.”
“With the veto, the governor has decided that teachers are the only ones who should be held accountable for the state’s failed implantation of the Common Core,” said the union. “We can’t understand why he is refusing to sign his own bill. What has changed?”
The union federation said Cuomo must make a decision whether to support the objectives of students, parents, and teachers, or “those of billionaires who want to destroy education in order to privatize it and profit from it.”
NYSUT has organized a protest for Wednesday, at 11:30 am, outside the Executive Mansion in downtown Albany, which is also where Cuomo holds his annual New Year’s reception for the public to meet himself and his family.