View Full Version : All NYC N.Y. Teacher Reviews Will Put More Focus on State Tests

05-14-2011, 08:55 AM
From the N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/14/nyregion/ny-teacher-evaluations-will-emphasize-test-scores-more.html) by Sharon Otterman:

Responding to criticism from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and others, state education officials on Friday revised their plans for evaluating teachers so that up to 40 percent of their annual reviews could be based on students’ scores on state standardized tests.

A measure passed last year had outlined 20 percent as the standard.

The regulations are expected to be enacted on Monday by the Board of Regents, the state’s education policy-making body.

“These are not perfect tools by any means,” the chancellor of the Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, said. “But that being said, I believe it is important to have an objective system to evaluate teachers on a professional basis. This is the beginning of such a process.”

After negotiations between state and union officials, the Legislature passed a bill last year that said 60 percent of a teacher’s evaluation would be based on subjective measures like a principal’s observations, a review of student work, or surveys of parents and students; 20 percent on local tests or other assessments; and 20 percent on state tests, potentially rising to 25 percent in subsequent years.

For years, teachers’ unions were bitterly opposed to the use of standardized test scores to measure teacher achievement, and evaluation systems across New York remain inconsistent.

The new system is scheduled to be used in the coming school year for English and math teachers in Grades 4 through 8, and then for all teachers the following year.

Ms. Tisch said on Friday that all of the governor’s concerns had been addressed in the new draft of the regulations, which essentially put the law into effect.

The new regulations also make other changes. Before, the bar was set so low that teachers could get a passing rating even if their students utterly bungled their standardized tests. The new version makes that nearly impossible.

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