Budget Compromise Fails Students and Schools

ALBANY, NY (4/1/15)

The School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS) and its members are extremely disappointed with many of the education components negotiated in this budget, specifically in regard to principal and teacher evaluations (APPR).

The continuing overreliance on high-stakes tests to evaluate teachers and principals is seriously misguided. These tests were never designed to measure educators’ effectiveness, and do not do so. They instead drive teaching to the test, and place the burden of consequence on the shoulders of our students. SAANYS and hundreds of administrators around the state voiced their concerns on this issue, outlining the ramifications for students, educators, and public education – these concerns fell on deaf ears.

To make matters worse, by requiring the assignment of independent evaluators the budget weakens the ability of a teacher’s instructional leader – the principal – to evaluate and guide a teacher’s growth based on what the principal knows of the needs of his/her students. Improved feedback and instructional dialogue between principals and teachers has been the one bright aspect of the last two iterations of APPR, and now this aspect of the current evaluation system has been damaged.

“Local control and input continues to be severely compromised, replaced with a heavy hand from the state,” commented SAANYS Executive Director Kevin Casey. “Since 2010 when the first APPR system was implemented, our members have urged a more thoughtful and researched-based approach to educator evaluations; instead, the governor and legislature continue to drive with blinders on – taking public education down the wrong road. The entire process of education policy development continues to be dysfunctional. This is the antithesis of effective government.”

SAANYS represents over 7,300 school administrators, supervisors, and coordinators. As a professional association, SAANYS is committed to providing direction, service, and support to its members in their efforts to improve the quality of education and leadership in New York State schools. SAANYS is the state affiliate to both the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).