Karen Magee, the longtime head of the Harrison teachers union, has been elected president of the New York State United Teachers, the often powerful, 600,000-member statewide union.
She unseated Richard Iannuzzi, who served since 2005 and led NYSUT through a tumultuous period of educational change in New York.
“It feels wonderful and empowering,” Magee said Sunday. “My ultimate goal is to make sure teachers are respected again as professionals and that NYSUT is respected again as the great labor organization it is.”
Some 3,000 delegates representing 1,200 local unions voted Saturday at New York State United Teachers’ 42nd annual “representative assembly” at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan. The results were announced Sunday.
A self-described “militant,” Magee has been harshly critical of New York’s education reforms and Iannuzzi’s response to them. She wants to see New York throw out its new teacher- and principal-evaluation system, which she calls beyond repair. Magee says she wants to convince Cuomo that the system is inaccurate. The governor, oddly enough, said for the first time Tuesday that the system needs to be reviewed because it may be unfair to use student test scores to calculate some teachers’ grades.
Delegates approved the no-confidence position on Saturday. They also withdrew NYSUT’s support for the Common Core Standards as they have been implemented in New York and supported the rights of parents to not have their children take high-stakes tests.
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