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Teachers Union Serenades NYS Senate To Push For Bill

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Karen DeWitt
/
WAMC
Bagpipers hired by the New York State United Teachers union play outside the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday.

The state’s largest teachers union brought bagpipe players and a brass band to the Capitol to push for a bill to decouple teacher evaluations from the results of standardized tests.

As a brass band played the theme from the TV show ‘Jeopardy,’ New York State United Teachers Union President Andy Pallotta says time is running out on a bill to sever the student standardized test results from teacher performance reviews.

GOP Senate Leader John Flanagan introduced a measure that would do that, but it would also increase the number of charter schools and reduce the state education department’s authority to regulate the Jewish religious schools, yeshivas. Pallotta says his union is against those provisions.

“Senator Flanagan has hit a sour note,” said Pallotta, taking full advantage of the presence of the bands to make musical themed puns. “We’re trying to orchestrate things in such a way that maybe the Senate in their chamber up there can hear beautiful music and decide to pass S8301.”  

While teachers say they are trying to find a fun and creative way to advance the bill, they say it’s a serious issue for educators.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.