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Bloomberg: Regents’ proposals “an important first step”

Mayor Bloomberg is in Copenhagen today, but that isn’t stopping him from weighing in on the Board of Regents’ Race to the Top-inspired slate of policy proposals rolled out this morning — and from boosting a few pet policies of his own.

Here’s the statement Bloomberg just released:

I commend Chancellor Tisch, Commissioner Steiner, and the Board of Regents for proposing a reform agenda that includes an increase in the cap on charter schools, a turnaround strategy for the lowest-performing schools, incentives for math and special education teachers, and rigorous standards and assessments. These are some of the reforms I recently called for and that are necessary to improve our schools and win the hundreds of millions in Race to the Top funds our kids need and deserve.

The Board’s proposed teacher evaluation system is an important first step in the right direction, and we hope the Board will go further by requiring that student achievement data be part of the system. As we face the prospect of serious budget cuts, student achievement data is critical to ensuring that a teacher’s skill set and performance — not his or her seniority — are the basis for determining any layoff decisions that must be made. We also urge the State to allow school districts to place a one-year limit on the amount of time that teachers may collect their salaries after losing their jobs, and to end the ‘rubber room’ as we know it.

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