Magee: Voices replace rubber stamps

NYSUT President Karen E. Magee  rubber stamps
Many New Yorkers will let you know that one of the blessings of living and working in New York is the trade of seasons. As you’re reading this column — the final one in every of this yr’s publishing cycle — we are fast shifting from spring’s blossoms to summer time’s heat. When NYSUT United resumes, we can be converting once more, as summer time transitions to the colors of fall. New York kingdom without a doubt has something for absolutely everyone.

Much just like the seasons, in Albany — on the Capitol and on the State Education Department — there has been a regular cavalcade of exchange this 12 months. It’s a exchange of way of life; a exchange inside the way policymakers do commercial enterprise. It’s a exchange faraway from pinnacle-down dictates to one which is based on and considers the voices of parents, students and educators.

Nowhere has this variation manifested itself more than with SED and the Board of Regents. What befell at the Regents’ June assembly was virtually excellent. Some veteran Regents-watchers referred to as it extraordinary. It wasn’t so much what they did — despite the fact that there has been development, and respiratory room changed into created in righting some of the wrongs of Gov. Cuomo’s take a look at-and-punish schooling schedule — but, for the primary time in reminiscence, gone was the rubber-stamp approach to proposals recommend with the aid of SED body of workers.

Instead, led with the aid of seven brave Regents who reaffirmed their duty to recommend for college students, the board engaged in lengthy, lively debate. Some of them pointedly took on the myths about critiques and testing. And they did make alternate, most appreciably extending the inane closing date imposed with the aid of the governor for districts and their unions to conform with his unworkable evaluation edicts.

Many state Assembly contributors have been in attendance, and had been a everyday presence on the Regents conferences. NYSUT become additionally well represented, as constantly, with the supportive presence of many participants of our Board of Directors to boost our name for a fix to the kingdom’s checking out and critiques coverage so it is good for kids and fair to instructors.

Other encouraging tendencies metal our resolve. For instance, polls keep to enhance that our messaging — in tv, radio, print, billboards and on line advertising, as well as thru news coverage — blended with the maximum considerable wave of grassroots engagement in contemporary NYSUT records — has turned the tide emphatically; public opinion has swung strongly in our favor.

Poll after ballot mirror the governor’s plummeting job approval, a sea trade that started out when we shined a mild on his so-referred to as schooling reforms. Clearly, the general public emphatically helps and trusts NYSUT on training troubles.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media is more and more “getting it” too, as meditated in an array of editorials and columns posted across the state. For instance, a latest editorial inside the Capital Region’s Times Union stated:

“To keep away from more turmoil, that may most effective damage college students, the Regents need to inform Mr. Cuomo and lawmakers that this idea (changes to the trainer assessment guidelines) desires greater thought and discussion, and that the deadline is absolutely too tight. Let the governor sue the Regents if he needs. New York’s children deserve better than every other botched rollout.


As I write this, the kingdom Legislature is in the final days of its 2015 session. We’ve had our share of victories, with each homes passing essential “preservation of attempt” rules that might gain our first-rate public colleges and universities.

We are nonetheless preventing.

We are fighting towards a lavish tax giveaway to billionaires within the form of a credit to those who donate to personal schools. We are fighting a permanent tax cap and an elevated charter faculty cap. (Check nysut.Org in the course of the summer season for updates. And, even as you are there, join up to your “My NYSUT” account so we are able to ship you ordinary briefings.)

Brothers and sisters, whilst there may be nonetheless a good deal to do, momentum — and progress — are on our facet. No one is going to prevent the exchange that we, together, started this 12 months.
And, as George Bernard Shaw as soon as wrote: “Progress is not possible with out change.”

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