Assemblyman Santabarbara Pushes Common-Sense Reforms for Local Schools

Legislation supports our teachers and students, scales back testing and strengthens public schools

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam) is backing new legislation that will give schools time to implement teacher evaluation plans that make sense for our students and teachers, while ensuring that state education aid is not tied to the implementation of these proposals (A. 7303A).

“We have been pushing for this delay on teacher evaluations in order to allow our local schools time to create common-sense reforms that work for students and teachers. Not only does this legislation provide the necessary time to implement evaluation systems, it also gives local schools more control over their plans and ensures that state education aid won’t be held hostage by the State Education Department,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “I have remained committed to working with our hardworking teachers and parents to strengthen our public schools and this legislation is evidence that our partnership is working.”

The amended bill would give school districts additional time to craft their proposals and an additional year to implement those plans. Additionally, it codifies the Assembly’s position that state education aid should not be tied to the implementation of these plans and it eliminates the requirement for outside evaluations.

“This bill also makes sure that students are taking standardized tests that make sense for their age – ending the reliance on tests that weren’t grade-level appropriate and were putting undue stress and pressure on our children,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara, referring to a required content review committee that would be established by the state Education Department.

The bill also sets aside funding for the state Education Department to create its own stand-alone field tests so local schools aren’t forced to rely on tests created by private companies.

As part of his commitment to strengthening our public schools, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara launched a website earlier this year to collect local input on key education issues. He encourages them to use this website to weigh-in on this legislation and other critical education issues.

“I have pledged to keep fighting to ensure our children receive the education they deserve, and this legislation is a step in the right direction – but there is more to do, including scaling back the use of standardized testing and guaranteeing local control of our schools,” Santabarbara concluded.