More evaluation news…

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012 at 1:46 pm by

More on the trials and tribulations of implementing the state’s new teacher and principal evaluation requirements…

Late yesterday, State Education Commissioner John King announced that he is suspending federal School Improvement Grants to 10 districts which the State Education Department judges do not have teacher/principal evaluation plans which satisfy new state requirements.

The Commissioner said,

“The deadline is real; the funding is suspended,” King said.  “The good news is that six districts (Roosevelt, Poughkeepsie, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany and Rochester) showed real progress toward meeting the requirements for a teacher and principal evaluation system agreed to in their SIG applications. All 10 districts can request a hearing. If these six districts get back to the table immediately to address the shortcomings in their plans, the hearings should go well for them.”

New York State United Teachers responded to the Commissioner announcement with a statement accusing the Commissioner and SED of taking a “dictatorial approach to reform” and asserting that they have “…demonstrated that they have totally lost their way in shepherding real, meaningful reform.”

Commissioner King appeared on Time-Warner’s Capitol Tonight to discuss his decision.

Reporting on the Governor’s plans to announce an education reform commission in today’s State of the State address, the New York Times noted that Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, “said she would urge Mr. Cuomo and his commission to help advance a statewide teacher evaluation system…”

Commissioner King made similar comments in his television appearance.

A collection of education reform groups wrote to the Governor urging that he propose legislation ensure that all districts adopt new evaluation procedures consistent with Race to the Top timelines.

Specifically, the groups recommend,

To ensure that the City and the state’s other districts fulfill New York’s promises to its schoolchildren, we request that you introduce a back-stop measure that requires districts to develop teacher evaluation plans by August 31, 2012.  Any district that has not successfully negotiated its own plan by that date will have to automatically carry out a “default” plan, to be created by the State Education Department.  Those districts would have one year (until August 31, 2013) to install and fully implement their default plan systems.

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