State news roundup for August 15, 2015

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New York – State test scores tell parents and policymakers almost nothing

NYSUT logo New YorkTest scores in English language arts and math released on Wednesday tell parents, educators and policymakers almost nothing about students’ progress toward meeting state standards, and are meaningless as measures of teacher effectiveness, New York State United Teachers said.

“It would be a huge mistake to read anything into these test results. Whether they’re up or down, they tell us virtually nothing meaningful about students or their teachers,” said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. “Student test scores based on poorly written, developmentally inappropriate Pearson tests, in a year in which record numbers of parents repudiated the state’s standardized testing program by ‘opting out,’ aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.”

NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino said NYSUT would be vigilant in ensuring that the eventual move to Questar Inc., with the full involvement of teachers in the test-development process, will result in better, more accurate and reliable student assessments in ELA and math.

Get the full story at NYSUT.org.

Illinois – Rauner hopes to leverage state aid to eliminate union rights

IL Gov Rauner Report square“Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

From Day 1, that platitude has been the subtext of the Rauner administration, which has worked tirelessly to create and maintain financial crises in order to achieve the governor’s goal of silencing unions, including education employee unions that advocate for quality teaching and learning conditions in public schools.

The theory is that, if you can convince people things are really bad, radical proposals, like eliminating union rights and benefits, can become (in the public’s mind) acceptable.

For example, Governor Rauner insisted the state income tax increase be allowed to expire on January 1, thereby creating an immediate multi billion-dollar budget hole. This manufactured financial crisis is how he hoped to convince lawmakers to approve his attack on average Illinoisans, aka the Turnaround Agenda.

Visit IEANEA.org to learn more.

New Hampshire – Join us at the NEA-NH Education Summit Rally

standing strong for education NH 150x150Educators from across the northeast will rally at Londonderry High School, the site of the 2015 Education Summit hosted by Campbell Brown, founder of the Seventy Four.

Confirmed participants thus far include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

We know from experience that many of those invited to appear at the Summit are responsible for chronic under-funding of public education and systemic educator-bashing.

No one works harder than educators to improve our public schools so that every student, regardless of their zip code, can have an opportunity to attend a great public school. The real question is what’s best for students, not corporate interests and privatization.

Join us at the rally to be sure our voices are heard. Click here and let us know you’re joining us by checking-in on the event invitation on our Facebook page.

  • WHEN: 11:00 am August 19, 2015
  • WHERE: Londonderry High School, 295 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, NH

Visit NEANH.org to learn more or click here to RSVP for the rally via Facebook.

Massachusetts – Hearing on charter school bills set for October 13

MTAOn Tuesday, October 13, the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Education will hold a hearing on an MTA-supported bill calling for a moratorium on Commonwealth charter schools.

The hearing is an opportunity for public school educators to speak out about how charter schools affect their students and their school districts. The hearing on the MTA bill — as well as on other bills related to charter schools — will be held at 10 a.m. in Gardner Auditorium at the State House.

Senate Bill 326, An Act establishing a moratorium for Commonwealth Charter Schools, is two-pronged. It places a three-year moratorium on charter school expansion and requires all teachers hired by Commonwealth charter schools to obtain a teaching license. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton, and co-sponsored by 26 other legislators.

Learn more and get involved in the fight at MassTeacher.org.

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