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Letters: Don't target teachers

Hempstead's Franklin Elementary School teacher Juan Rincon and

Hempstead's Franklin Elementary School teacher Juan Rincon and Hempstead resident and parent Tammi Mitchell rally with the help of teachers, activist and union leaders rally outside Hempstead School District office for their teaching jobs in Hempstead on June 24, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

In response to "School fight brewing in NY" [Editorial, Jan. 7], I would like to tell Newsday, the Board of Regents, the State Legislature, and in particular Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, that I will not allow myself or any other teacher to be "forced to fall into line" with a highly flawed and politically manipulated teacher evaluation system.

Cuomo vetoed his own safety net for teachers, which was designed to soften the results of a poorly implemented Common Core testing system. Proficiency rates were much lower in 2013 and 2014 because of former state education Commissioner John B. King Jr.'s arbitrary cut scores! Was there a deliberate attempt to discredit teachers? Sure looks like it! Using the now obvious arbitrary setting of proficiency cut scores, highly effective teachers in previous years now look like abject failures!

Please don't advocate for a harsher teacher evaluation system, especially one based on faulty and manipulated data.

Patricia Costell, Port Jefferson Station
 

The rhetoric from the governor concerning the state's education policies should be seen for what it is. He is angry with the union and teachers for not endorsing him for re-election and for calling him out on his lack of financial support for education across the state.

Educating our children is a shared responsibility. As long as children continue to come to school hungry and go home to empty houses, with no one to supervise homework and ensure a supportive environment, our schools will be fighting a battle that cannot be won in classrooms alone.

Ron Verderber, East Meadow

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Jericho Teachers Association.

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