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Governor’s Veto Confirms Pattern of Disrespect for Arizona’s Teachers and Students

Phoenix, AZ - May 23, 2017 - As teachers are saying goodbye to their students after another year’s hard work Governor Doug Ducey announced his veto of Senate Bill (SB) 1209, delivering a final insult to teachers across Arizona.  The Arizona Education Association’s (AEA) teacher evaluation bill would have reduced the pressure from high stakes testing on our teachers and allowed our students to spend more time learning.

“Signing SB1209 into law was the simplest action Governor Ducey could have taken to address the teacher crisis, without increasing revenue,” says AEA President Joe Thomas. “Teachers all over the state tell me the overemphasis on standardized testing is limiting their ability to teach and for students to learn. Teachers love teaching because they cherish the moment when they see learning breakthroughs and the light bulb goes on in a child’s eye. We need to remove the hurdles to student learning created by politicians and all of these failed reforms, stop pressuring our teachers to teach the test, and let them get back to teaching our students.”

 SB1209 passed with an overwhelming majority in both the Arizona House and Senate, with support from both Democrats and Republicans. If signed, this bill would have ended the nonsensical practice of evaluating teachers using standardized test scores of students they don’t teach. It also would have reduced the degree of standardized test data tied to teacher evaluations.

“As a French teacher, I get part of my performance evaluation and pay determined by my students’ test scores in math and English,” says Phoenix Union High School Teacher Heather Frackiewic. “I have no control over those things, and my job isn't to teach those things. But I get evaluated and paid based on whether students learn those things.”

SB1209 was supported by teachers, parents, and community leaders who want our public schools to focus on teaching and learning. By vetoing this bill, Governor Ducey is ignoring the will of the people and what they want for our students and public schools.

“This latest insult confirms a definite pattern of disrespect for Arizona’s teachers and students,” says Thomas. “Instead of giving teachers the raise he heralded in his State of the State speech, he offers them a one percent, one-time bonus. Instead of restoring funding to our public schools, he diverts public education money to DeVos’ private school voucher scheme. Instead of supporting Arizona’s teachers and addressing the state’s teacher exodus, he lowers their professional standards and then vetoes AEA’s common sense fix to our teacher evaluation system. When you add up all of his wrong answers this legislative session, it’s clear to see the Governor failed the test.”

Take Action:

  1. Call Governor Ducey
  2. Tweet Governor Ducey
  3. Join us in the fight for our schools

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