Sal Albanese, a mayoral candidate who is also a former public school teacher, issued this press release in response to the teacher evaluation system that State Education Commissioner John King imposed on New York City tonight:
“At first glance, Commissioner King appears to be imposing a pretty reasonable teacher evaluation plan on the city. Unlike the Bloomberg administration, King does not seem to delight in the firing of teachers. Instead, as he notes, the new plan makes an effort to help ‘teachers teach better so students can learn better.’
The new system adopts several provisions that I have discussed at length on the campaign trail, including flexibility and local control of the factors that go into evaluating teachers. It makes room for principals, teachers, and students to have a say. Most importantly, it commits to investing in teacher support. Only when evaluations are paired with real professional development and mentorship can we deliver on our promise to provide a quality education to every New York City student.
Make no mistake: this isn’t a major victory for anybody. As someone who taught in our classrooms and served in government, I won’t be satisfied until we have a sea change in the relationship between City Hall and our schools.
Had the UFT and the Mayor put down their swords and talked like adults, we would be discussing a plan crafted by teachers, parents, and administrators, rather than by Albany. Instead, they bickered and put our school system at the mercy of the state. For better or worse, now we have a plan. So let’s look forward and fight to ensure that the resources are in place to make it work for our kids.”