Parents, Teachers Line Up To Protest Cuomo’s Education Reform Plan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The bone-chilling weather on Saturday did not stop hundreds of teachers, students and parents from gathering in front of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s East Side office to protest his administration’s education policy.

The group — which included United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew and former gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout — protested against charter schools and high-stakes testing and called for full funding of public schools.

“Shouldn’t his priorities be for the students of New York State and not with the people who put him into power?” said parent Michole, from P.S. 58 in Brooklyn.

Cuomo announced a series of education reforms in January, including making a teacher evaluation system rely more heavily on state tests, and allowing failing schools to be taken over by outside groups. But as WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reported, Mulgrew said such plans are a recipe for disaster.

“Enough with the crazy testing,” Mulgrew said. “Enough with tying all policy to funding.”

Teachers, parents and students gather outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Manhattan office to protest his education reform plan. (Credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Teachers, parents and students gather outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Manhattan office to protest his education reform plan. (Credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Under Cuomo’s proposal, 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation would come from students’ state test scores or in non-tested grades, a student growth measure calculating one year of academic growth.

Thirty-five percent would come from independent observations, and the remaining 15 percent from supervisor observations.

Back in January, the governor called the current teacher evaluation system “baloney.”

“Thirty-one percent of third- to eighth-graders are proficient in English, but 99 percent of the teachers are rated effective,” Cuomo said.

More than $1 billion in new funding is contingent on the New York State Legislature approving the governor’s plan. The deadline is April 1.

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