Statement from Micah Lasher, Executive Director of StudentsFirstNY

Governor Cuomo said he would be the students’ lobbyist and today he is. Nothing that goes on inside our schools is more important to our children’s futures than the quality of their teachers. And a meaningful evaluation system is the critical first step to improving teacher quality.

By giving the State Department of Education the power to implement an evaluation system in New York City, the Governor will bring this three-year saga to a successful conclusion. It is particularly noteworthy that his proposal will ensure a permanent evaluation system for New York City, and that the specifics will be decided by June, with plenty of time to plan and implement for the 2013-2014 school year. Obviously we await the details of the legislation, which are important, and the decisions that face the State Education Department will be critical: this evaluation system must do more than simply exist – it must be meaningful. But this is a big day for New York City’s kids, and New York State’s status as a leader on education reform.

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