More than 50 local principals sign letter of concern about State Education


(WKTV) - School officials from all over New York State signed a letter, which highlighted some concerns over rapid changes at the State-level regarding educational reforms.

Of the hundreds of teachers and administrators that signed their names to the letter, 50 of them were from Oneida, Herkimer, and neighboring counties.

The letter is an attempt by school officials to express their views that while change is an important part of improving and advancing teaching techniques, they believe that many of the recent State laws have education in the state changing too quickly, and without adding quality reforms to the system.

The biggest concern that seems to affect these schools are the recent additions of the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) regulations. Officials believe that the regulations, which require teachers and principals to be evaluated each year, and given a rating from 0-100 on their performance, are too flawed to be effective.

They believe that because of this, the schools and students themselves will suffer most from its "poor design."

The new regulations were approved in May of 2010, by the New York State Legislature, in a quick attempt to secure federal funding for State Education. The law stated that beginning in September 2011, all teachers and principals were to be evaluated yearly, with part of their performance score relying on how well their students perform on standardized tests.

New York State Principals responded to the regulation in their letter by stating that its intentions do not match its effectiveness:

"At first glance, using test scores might seem like a reasonable approach to accountability. As designed, however, these regulations carry unintended negative consequences for our schools and students that simply cannot be ignored"

The letter continues to explain the apparent flaws, and the consequences that they have on school districts across the state.

To view the letter in its entirety, and to see the full list of people who signed the document, click here.

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