AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

TEACHER EDUCATION REFORM

WHEREAS, the New York State Education Department (SED) is developing new certification exams that will be required of those seeking an Initial Teaching Certificate (the Performance Assessment/Portfolio—including videos from student teaching/clinical site; the Revised Content Specialty Test; the Educating All Students Test; and the Academic Literacy Skills Test); and

WHEREAS, passing the new certification exams will be required of those seeking an Initial Teaching Certificate and graduating in May 2013; and

WHEREAS, preparing students for the new Common Core Learning Standards and the New York state teaching standards assessed in the new certification exams require specific, targeted curriculum changes; and

WHEREAS, changes in curriculum require significant faculty collaboration and, at most colleges and universities, must be approved through established collegewide faculty governance procedures; and

WHEREAS, significant resources will be required for training faculty and students for the Performance Assessment/Portfolio, and for video equipment for the required student teaching videos; and

WHEREAS, in the December 2011 field test manual for the Performance Assessment, students are unrealistically required to obtain a release from the parents of all students in their videos without any mechanism to accomplish this legal requirement; and

WHEREAS, the New York SED's involvement of a range of teacher preparation institutions in the field testing of the Performance Assessment/Portfolio should not be misconstrued as meaningful faculty and stakeholder collaboration (e.g., faculty signed confidentiality agreements and could not discuss the design with others); and

WHEREAS, teacher candidate performance in the new certification exams process, according to the New York state Race to the Top application, will likely be used as a measure of the quality of teacher preparation programs at our colleges and universities; and

WHEREAS, over the objections of the New York State United Teachers through its Teacher/School Leader Preparation Workgroup and other communications, the New York SED has not modified the timeline for implementation:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers will join the New York State United Teachers to continue to urge the New York State Board of Regents and the New York State Education Department to adjust the May 2013 implementation date for the new certification exams process; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will join NYSUT to continue to raise the urgent concern, with the SED and the Board of Regents, that curriculum changes needed to address the new Common Core Learning Standards, the New York state teaching standards and other recent initiatives will require adequate planning time in order to be successful; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will join NYSUT to request that the SED pursue funding for the implementation of additional training for faculty and other resource needs; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will join NYSUT to continue to urge members of the Board of Regents, as well as the SED, to work with the NYSUT Teacher/School Leader Preparation Workgroup, other education faculty at our colleges and universities, and additional stakeholders, including our K–12 brothers and sisters, to collaborate on issues related to school personnel preparation.


(2012)