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Karen Magee: “We are encouraging parents to opt out”

The following article that appeared in Capitol Confidential, written by Rick Karlin, describes Karen Magee’s statement on state standardized testing during a recent Capitol Press radio show.  The new education budget recently hashed out by lawmakers  does little to address parent and teacher concerns about over-testing and unfair evaluation systems.

Going on the offense, NYSUT’s Magee calls for test boycott
Posted on March 30, 2015 at 12:36 pm by Rick Karlin, Capitol bureau in Bulletin, Education, NYSUT

New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee just appeared on the Capitol Pressroom radio show and then spent a few minutes with a gaggle of reporters at the Capitol, talking about the pending deal to revamp teacher evaluations, which is being finalized in budget talks.

While she stressed that she hadn’t seen the fine-print details of the arrangement, she kept up what has been a nearly year-long assault against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his plans to reform education.

The main issue has been Cuomo’s proposal to make teacher evaluations count for half of teacher ratings in grades 3-8. That has apparently fallen off the table in budget talks and the current plan sticking to a lower number, including, perhaps, the original 20 percent.

Nonetheless, Magee said believes parents should keep their kids away from those tests.

During her radio show and in the press scrum, Magee said people should avoid the tests, which are given at the start and end of the school year and designed to assess how much students have learned under a given teacher.

“We are encouraging parents to opt out,” Magee said explaining that instructions for an opt-out are on their website.

She also said “we will be taking further steps to make parents aware of this.”

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