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State teachers union serenades Senate on evaluations

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Karen Dewitt
/
WBFO Albany Correspondent

The state’s largest teachers union brought bagpipe players and a brass band to New York's Capitol to push for a bill to decouple teacher evaluations from the results of standardized tests.

As a brass band played the theme from the TV show “Jeopardy,” New York State United Teachers President Andy Pallotta said time is running out on a bill to sever the student standardized test results from teacher performance reviews.

GOP Senate Leader John Flanagan introduced a measure that would do that, but it also would increase the number of charter schools and reduce the state education department’s authority to regulate Jewish religious schools known as yeshivas. Pallotta said his union is against those provisions.

“Senator Flanagan has hit a sour note,” said Pallotta, taking full advantage of the presence of the bands to make musical-themed puns. “We’re trying to orchestrate things in such a way that maybe the Senate in their chamber up there can hear beautiful music and decide to pass S8301.”  

While teachers say they are trying to find a fun and creative way to advance the bill, they say it’s a serious issue for educators.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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