New Bills in the Assembly and Senate

APPR
We previously mentioned a senate bill introduced by John Flanagan that is ostensibly designed to undo some of the April 1st education law, but is actually useless, distracting, and potentially damaging


Another bill, A7303, being promoted by Assembly Education Committee Chairwoman Cathy Nolan, goes a bit further, but does it go far enough? 

You can read the text of the bill here, but the highlights are:

  • It pushes the deadline for the Regents to finalize APPR regulations to November 15th
  • It pushes the deadline for districts to revise their APPR plans to the following year.
  • It separates state aid from approval of APPR plans
  • It requires more test questions to be released
  • It would require the formation of a committee to insure that test questions are grade level appropriate and appropriately measure the standards
  • It makes the outside evaluator optional rather than required.*

These are all positive things. And NYSUT has endorsed the bill, saying it “takes a significant step toward protecting students by reducing inappropriate state testing while recognizing that teacher evaluations must be fair and objective.”

But critics of the bill, such as this parent and blogger, point out that the bill does nothing to actually reduce testing, and doesn’t fix, but simply pushes off, the use of VAM junk science to rate teachers. 

On the one hand, pushing the deadline back a year give more time to work toward the goal of overturning the whole thing. However, it may also be that once another year has passed, what has been put into place here will become the new normal and the fight will have shifted to staving off the next, new, even worse thing. 

Tax Cap
Getting back to newly anointed appointed State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a bill now in front of the Senate would make the tax cap permanent.

Unfortunately, polls show that a majority of New Yorkers favor the tax cap. Is this because they haven’t yet seen the incredibly corrosive damage that this will do to the public school system once it’s been in place for a few years (especially if inflation heats up in the future)? Or do they just not care? Probably a combination of the two.


* None of the articles I’ve read mention that this law would make the outside evaluators optional, but that’s what I’m reading from section 3, lines 34-45

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