New York State United Teachers was very happy with state Senator Chris Jacobs support for a bill decoupling standardized test scores from teacher evaluation.

“Early on we made phone calls to Senator Jacobs thanking him for sponsoring the bill. He was a co-sponsor. He was one of the first Republicans to sign on and support this. We were delighted,” Peter Stuhlmiller, NYSUT Board of Directors, said.

Eventually 55 state Senators signed on but the bill still hasn’t come to the floor for a vote.

“Now that the session’s coming to an end, we’re really calling on these senators to put their money where their mouth is and tell their leadership, look we want this bill, we should have the right to vote on it,” Stuhlmiller said.

So the union decided to protest a handful of Republicans across the state outside their district offices, demanding they exert their influence and get Senate leadership to bring it to the floor.

“I’m viewing it as they’re rallying. They’re encouraging us to get it done. I share their excitement for getting this done, getting this done this session,” Jacobs said.

He said he remains on the teachers side. The protest in Buffalo, at least, turned out relatively tame as he invited them up to his office to discuss the issue.

“This is an important bill. It’s kind of one of the last remnants of the failed Common Core experiments. It will return the decision making on how teachers are evaluated back to the local level and I believe strongly in local control,” Jacobs said.

The senator said the bill came out of the Education Committee this week following tweaks he believes improved it. He expects a vote in the next two weeks.  The Assembly has already passed its version and the governor has given strong indications he intends to sign it.