July 6, 2017

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UUP blasts SUNY’s charter school teacher training plan

uupdate 7-6-17

Click here for UUP's media release on SUNY's charter school teacher training initiative.

UUP has taken a strong stand against a SUNY Board of Trustees proposal to allow some SUNY-sanctioned charter schools to create their own teacher training programs.

In a July 6 media release, the nation’s largest higher education union said such training programs would open a “far easier pathway” for people to teach in charter schools because they wouldn’t be required to meet the state’s stringent teacher certification requirements.

“How can SUNY claim that it supports existing state and federal standards for teacher preparation, as stated in a TeachNY resolution adopted by the Board of Trustees, and allow its charter schools to create a new, lower tier of standards for teachers in charter schools?,” asked UUP President Frederick E. Kowal, Ph.D. “This unacceptable proposal bucks the stated objectives of SUNY's own Teach NY initiative, which was presented as a plan to strengthen the teaching profession while creating a system that ensures that every student is taught by a great teacher.”

“SUNY appears to be saying that schools that hire teachers who complete college teacher preparation programs and meet the state’s teacher certification standards are not high quality schools,” said Jamie Dangler, UUP’s vice president for academics and a member of the state’s edTPA Task Force. That’s ridiculous and it undermines all the work that’s been done in our state to strengthen teacher preparation and improve the teacher certification exams and process.”

Dangler, above, discussed the issue during a July 6 interview on “Capital Tonight,” Spectrum/Time Warner cable’s nightly statewide public affairs program. Click the video above this paragraph to view Dangler's interview.

The Trustees’ Charter School Committee approved the measure at a special July 6 meeting. A 45-day public comment period is slated to begin in September. Click here to read the teacher certification regulations that were approved by the committee.

“SUNY’s intent appears to be a watering down of teacher certification requirements and a move to bypass traditional, college-based teacher preparation programs,” Kowal said. “That will harm SUNY’s very own teacher preparation programs and stands as an irreconcilable contradiction with the rhetoric of SUNY’s Teach NY initiative.”

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