NY Students First

Click here to read details of the historic agreement on statewide teacher evaluations announced Feb. 16th.

No area of government needs reform more than our education system. NY spends more than any other state per pupil but ranks only 38th in graduation rates.

Our system has suffered because Albany has spent more time worrying about the business of education -- contracts, salaries, and benefits -- than they have worrying about the children.

Education should be about the STUDENTS and we need to shift the focus in Albany to a system that focuses on improving student performance and school accountability.

Key to this effort is adopting a real teacher evaluation system. In 2010, our state was awarded a $700 million grant from the federal government that required teacher evaluations. However, a lawsuit between the teachers union and the State education department had blocked the evaluations up until now. By not acting, we were at risk of losing $700 million dollars in federal funding.

That’s why, in his Executive Budget & Reform plan, Governor Cuomo gave the State Education Department and unions 30 days to agree on a new effective teacher evaluation system or the Governor would propose an evaluation system in the 30-day budget amendments. As a result of the Governor’s leadership, on Feb. 16th, 2012, the Governor, joined by the State Education Department, New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers, announced a groundbreaking agreement on a new statewide teacher evaluation system that that will put students first and make New York a national leader in holding teachers accountable for student achievement.

By working together and putting the needs of students ahead of politics we were able to reach this agreement. The hard work of all parties involved is exactly what is needed to transform our state’s public education system. Click here to read more about the historic agreement.

Schools now have one year to implement the system or risk forfeiting increases in education aid in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school budgets.

But the issue of performance in education goes beyond teacher evaluations. Last year the Governor proposed a program to improve student performance, and another program to increase administrative efficiencies. He will expand these programs this year and move towards education funding that rewards performance and truly services the needs of the students.

Track Your School District's Progress

"What I'm asking the DPCC to do, make a motion that we support the governor's efforts to make sure the evaluations are in place.”

–Samuel Radford, President of the District Parent Coordinating Council

“I applaud Governor Cuomo’s commitment to increase school aid to the maximum amount allowable under state law."

–Jonathan Kornreich, Vice President of Three Village School District

"Governor Cuomo’s teacher evaluation system will ensure our students have access to great teachers."

–Hannya Boulos, Executive Director of Buffalo ReformED

“Governor Cuomo’s new proposal for improving the current state of affairs in New York classrooms is a welcome change of course ”

–Sydney Morris and Evan Stone, Co-Founders, Educators 4 Excellence

“Teacher Evaluation can serve as a vehicle to improve not only the overall level of school performance but assist a teacher in improving his/her performance while serving as a vehicle to measure their own individual progress”

–MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Executive Director Youth Enrichment Services