Jia Lee, Green Lt. Governor candidate, calls on Senate to Reject Bill on Teacher Evaluations
For immediate release: June 4, 2018
Jia Lee, a New York City school teacher and the Green Party candidate for Lt. Governor, called today for the State Senate to reject the bill (S8301 / A10475) on state school assessments and teacher evaluations that has already passed the Assembly. The bill, expected to be voted upon in Senate committee this week, has been promoted by the NYS United Teachers.
“This bill is all smokes and mirrors. It does not eliminate using student scores on standardized tests to evaluate teachers. Instead, it just makes the use of such scores subject to collective bargaining. It keeps the ranking of schools by test scores in place,” said Lee.
Lee said that the ranking of schools by test scores is used to justify public school closures and privatizations as charter schools. Lee said that the main reason why schools fail is poverty and a lack of adequate education funding. 82% of schools closed are in high poverty communities. 59% are in predominantly Black and Brown communities while only 4% are in predominantly white communities.
“If the goal is to improve the quality of our education system, we should address the systematic underfunding of our schools by $4.2 billion. This underfunding has led to the loss of veteran, experienced educators; custodial staff and basic supplies, leaving us with crumbling infrastructures. We have lost physical education, arts and libraries, special education, and English as a New Language programs. While more resources are devoted to administration," Lee added.
"If we want to improve public education, we have to address our policies that results in income inequality and segregation, including access to affordable housing, healthcare, and a livable wage," Lee concluded.