albanycapital120Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP – 125th) signed on to a new bill Tuesday introduced in the State Assembly by Assemblywoman Nolan, Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, that would make a number of changes to education law.

"This has been a difficult time for education in our state," said Lifton. "All across New York over the last month, we have heard from parents, teachers, and educators who are united in their concern about the future of education and about the impact of high-stakes testing on our children," said Lifton. "The changes proposed in this bill, from providing a public comment period on the State Education Department (SED) draft teacher evaluation proposal, extending the deadline for districts to have a teacher evaluation plan in place, to requiring the SED to review the Common Core learning standards, are critical measures that will help put education policy back where it belongs, in the hands of parents, teachers, and education professionals. I'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill."

The bill would do the following:
  1. provide a public comment period of forty-five days to review the new teacher evaluation system proposed by SED.
  2. extend the deadline by which schools must have an approved teacher evaluation plan in place to December 15, 2015 from the current date of November 15, 2015.
  3. require that the SED release, by June 1 annually, test questions and corresponding correct answers from the most recent ELA and math exams in grades three through eight.
  4. provide an $8.4 million allocation to create more exams to aid the release of more test questions to teachers.
  5. require SED to ensure that student growth scores take into consideration certain student characteristics, including, but not limited to, students with disabilities, poverty, English language learner status and prior academic history.
  6. require the SED to establish a content review committee to review standardized test items and/or selected passages for use on state exams in grades three through eight to ensure the tests are age-appropriate and time-appropriate.
  7. reform the way the Board of Regents are selected.
  8. require the SED to review the Common Core learning standards.
Lifton concluded by encouraging her constituents to write to the Regents and local Regent James Tallon to express their views about the teacher evaluation issue that is now before that body.