AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions


WHEREAS, the New York State Education Department (SED) has received a Race to the Top grant, which includes monies to develop a P-20 data system integral to the evaluation of teachers and teacher preparation programs without any meaningful discussion with the stakeholders on the methodology of the data collection process; and

WHEREAS, the New York State United Teachers and the United University Professions have offered to work with the SED to create an appropriate methodology and process for developing a data system to meet the needs of our students from P-20 in ways that will be fair to the teachers and the teacher preparation programs being evaluated; and

WHEREAS, the research in the field of accountability measurement, such as the RAND Corp.'s Evaluating Value-Added Models for Teacher Accountability (2003) and the National Educational Policy Center's Review of Learning about Teaching (2011), shows that this type of data collection affects the evaluation of individual teachers, many times in unfair and arbitrary ways; and

WHEREAS, using flawed teacher accountability results of individual teacher evaluations to evaluate teacher education programs compounds these errors and puts at risk New York state's teacher education programs; and

WHEREAS, additional research on the validity and stability of these evaluation models is needed before large sums of monies are expended to collect data that will only lead to faulty results; and

WHEREAS, the New York SED has used consultants who have an interest in certain types of data and data collection so that they can obtain future consulting work if their model and data are used:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will urge the New York State Education Department to work with the New York State United Teachers' Teacher Education Task Force, SUNY and CUNY faculty, and other stakeholders to develop an appropriate and fair data collection system; and

RESOLVED, that the New York SED P-20 data and models be made available to scholars for appropriate research while protecting participants' privacy; and

RESOLVED, that the New York SED P-20 data system not be used to evaluate teachers or teacher preparation programs until an open peer review process has shown the method to be valid and longitudinally stable.