Letter to New York State Education Department Commissioner & Board of Regents

Good afternoon, Commissioner & Board of Regents.

I am reaching out on behalf of the Central New York Technology & Engineering Educators’ Association (CNYTEEA) regarding the recent proposed changes to the Middle School Technology Education mandate.

CNYTEEA represents approximately 400 Technology Education teachers across the region. We are dismayed to hear about the proposed changes to the Middle School Technology Education mandate. Looking at a recent reply to our members from Regent Ouderkirk (see below), it is clear that the Board recognizes the need for students to take courses providing hands-on learning focused on the ever-expanding range of technology. New York State Technology Education teachers are uniquely trained and certified to teach students in all aspects of technology, engineering and technological literacy. The state standards for Middle School Technology Education (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/mst/pub/mststa5.pdf) illustrates the broad range of student learning objectives in all aspects of technology. No other certification areas encompass this unique, broad range of content.

If the mandate is changed to permit teachers in other certification areas to grant this requirement, the scope and breadth of technology education standards simply could not realistically be met. Teachers in other certification areas do not receive training in the content or pedagogy that design, modeling, fabrication, and engineering require, and a well developed technology education program demands and should provide. This mandate change puts the educational integrity of programs reaching hundreds of thousands in jeopardy and could potentially allocate teaching positions to unqualified, yet certified teachers instead of certified, qualified Technology Education teachers. Only trained, certified technology education teachers can truly provide the “hands-on learning, focused on the growing world of technology” for the students of our state.

Please do not change the Middle School Technology Education mandate by allowing teachers without technology education certification to deliver and grant credit for technology education content. Doing so would harm our students much more then help them. Indeed, given today’s emphasis on high-quality STEM education, if anything, the mandate should be expanded to include a high school requirement, providing students the opportunity to further develop their knowledge and skills under the skilled tutelage of trained, certified Technology Education teachers.

Thank you for your time and support of our programs. We look forward to your support of high-quality technology education programs delivered by certified technology education teachers.

Matthew Starke

CNYTEEA President

Technology Education Teacher

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Beverly L. Ouderkirk <blouderkirk@hotmail.com>

Date: Thu, May 4, 2017 at 9:42 PM

Subject: Middle School Technology Education

To: CNYTEEA Members

 

Dear Charles and others,

I appreciate the passion with which each of you have been writing to members of the Board of Regents about this matter. It is truly important and I couldn’t agree with you more. As a result of the flurry  of recent emails, I revisited the related proposal today. Though I cannot explain why, there seems to be erroneous info about the proposed amendment floating around.

The proposal actually allows districts a choice between continuing the programs they provide for the one unit of credit or choosing from several options which provide greater flexibility at the local level…thus allowing innovation where districts may so wish.

At this time I feel this proposed amendment provides for even greater opportunity for your district’s students as they so determine in encouraging the students’ natural interest in more hands on learning focused on the growing world of technology.

Sincerely,

Regent Ouderkirk

P.S. The volume of emails is so great that I am sending responses out in bulk. I hope this doesn’t create a problem for anyone.

Beverly L. Ouderkirk

 

Central New York Technology & Engineering Educators’ Association (CNYTEEA)

Website: www.cnyteea.org

Twitter: twitter.com/CNYTEEA

Facebook: facebook.com/CNYTEEA

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