Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Children of  NYS  vs. Message of Necessity
By:  Marla Kilfoyle, General Manager BATs

The week of  March 30th will be remembered as the day the NYS Legislature chose a Message of Necessity over the children of NYS. 

I have been an educator in NYS for 28 years.  I am National Board Certified and the mother of a child in a NYS public school.   I have watched thousands of children pass through the doors of my classroom and have been blessed to glance at the faces of proud parents as their children graduate from high school, or win an award.  I have been able to watch my own child have amazing educators who brought out the best in him and of whom he has many great memories

The week of March 30th I WILL REMEMBER that the NYS legislature chose a Message of Necessity over my students and my child. 

I know that the lawmakers who chose to vote YES were not given ample time to read the document (via the Governors Message of Necessity), yet they still chose to vote YES instead of stand up for the children of NYS.  They chose to vote YES instead of say, “let’s press the pause button and read this”,  or we need to press the pause button to get input as to what this really is.  They chose to ignore with their YES vote the voices of parents, teachers, principals, Boards of Education, and the state PTA who warned them to decouple education from the budget.  They voted YES for a teacher evaluation system that will send our schools and classrooms, where our children learn, into chaos.  It will have consequences so far reaching that to implement it will be abusive to teachers and principals, but most importantly to our children.  


You are a 3rd grader (8 years old) who loves their teacher.  She works hard all year, provides a safe and organized environment, has creative and fun instruction, nurtures all 28 children in the classroom.  The room is a happy place of learning.  She gets a Highly Effective score on her observation because it is deserved but with one snapshot of a test, the teacher is deemed ineffective.  Although her observations were stellar, this year there are more struggling learners in the class.  For that year, she is now a developing teacher.

 (Highly Effective (observation) + Ineffective (tests) =Developing – see chart below). 

She is defeated and she is demoralized

The NYS Legislature chose the Message of Necessity over our children

The evaluation system you voted for will be an epic failure.  It does NOT reduce the testing but puts it on steroids.  It does NOT reduce the percentage of the test used to evaluate teachers it puts it on steroids.  It will further stress our public school system and our children will be the collateral damage of all this.

The NYS Legislature chose tax breaks for yachts over our children.

Message of Necessity 1
Children of NYS 0

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