NY Teachers Union Voted "No Confidence" for Commissioner
The New York Teacher’s Union has heard it members loud and clear and has acted on their concerns. The union recently passed a unanimous vote for a “no confidence” resolution in regards to John King Jr., the State Education Commissioner. This ruling of no confidence is based on Mr. King’s implementation of the common core to the schools of New York State. The union is asking for the Board of Regents to remove Mr. King from his position and to delay the implementation of the common core, and the consequences tied to the testing, until the State Education Department can makes corrections to the common core curriculum.
Since 2011, the union has had concerns over the common core and standardized testing. They have said time and again that the timeframe to introduce the new curriculum and testing was too hurried, and would not give teachers or students time to adapt to the changes. With the common core being a graduation requirement, the rushed curriculum could have costly effects on the future leaders of tomorrow. With budget cuts being made to the schools, the concerns are that much more real for the teachers as they know that once everything is in place there may not be money to change things accordingly, or to help those who may need assistance with the new curriculum.
The union is looking to affect change in a more positive manner with some of the common core changes they want to see made. They would like the teachers to be able to review the materials to be sure that the they will work for the specified grade levels. They would also like more parent involvement, including hearing the parents’ concerns in regards to what their children may need, and more ways for teachers to be able to address the needs of those with special needs, or those who may not speak English as a first language. The union would also like the teachers to have access to the new tests so that they can be sure that their students are prepared. They would also like the consequences associated with failing to complete the common core and poor standardized testing to be put on hold until the schools have had the time necessary to implement the new curriculum correctly. Funding also needs to be stepped up so that students across the state all have an equal opportunity to succeed within the new curriculum.
The union is hoping that with this vote, the board of regents will take notice to their concerns since Mr. King has brushed off all of their concerns and treated them as nothing more than white noise. The teachers want a fair playing field for their students, as well as themselves, if the state is going to be looking at both of them in regards to the new program. The “no confidence” vote was the latest attempt in a long battle to get the State Education Department to think not only about the present, but the future and how it will play out if the common core is rushed into schools as it is set to be.