Assemblywoman Buttenschon: Teachers Should be able to Focus on Their Students

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica) announced that she helped pass legislation to eliminate the mandatory use of students’ state test results to evaluate teacher performance (A.783). The measure would make critical corrections to the teacher evaluation system and put power back in the hands of local school districts so they can determine the approach that works best for them.

“Evaluating a teacher’s performance based on their students’ test scores is misguided,” said Buttenschon. “Each classroom presents its own unique challenges, and educators need to have the freedom to craft their lessons around their students’ needs rather than a test devised by bureaucrats. By taking the emphasis off standardized testing, we can let our teachers get back to the actual art of teaching.”

The legislation would remove the mandate that state-created or administered assessments, such as the grades 3 through 8 English Language Arts (ELA) and math tests, be used for teacher and principal evaluations. Instead, the evaluation process would be left up to local school districts, who can choose to either stick with the current system or determine new criteria that would be better suited for their communities. The legislation also prohibits state test scores from being included in students’ permanent records.

“One of my top priorities is to improve our public education system, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” said Buttenschon. “I’ll keep working to strengthen schools in the Mohawk Valley so our children can have a brighter future.”