State Imposes Teacher Evaluation Plan for NYC

NEW YORK (AP) -

The New York State Education Department imposed an evaluation system on New York City teachers Saturday after the city and the teachers’ union failed to agree on a way to measure teacher effectiveness.

The evaluation plan incorporates student test scores, principal observations and other data. Twenty percent of each score will be determined by “locally selected measures” that individual schools can set.

“This is a clear win for students that will benefit generations of New York City public-school children,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. “Today marks a major milestone in our reform efforts, and it will benefit students for generations to come.”

Under the new system, teachers will be rated highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective. Teachers who are rated ineffective two years in a row will face expedited disciplinary hearings.

The city forfeited $250 million in state aid when the administration and the unions missed a Jan. 17 deadline to agree on an evaluation system. Out of nearly 700 school districts, New York was the only one in the state to have an evaluation plan imposed on it.

City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott called the plan “a major victory for our students.

United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew said teachers “will now have additional protections and opportunities to play a larger role in the development of the measures used to rate them.”

Sixty percent of the evaluation will be determined by observations by a teacher’s principal for kindergarten through second grade. For grades 3 through 12, 55 percent will be determined by principal observations and 5 percent by student surveys. The student surveys will be done as a pilot program in the 2013-2014 school year, and after that will count toward the teacher’s rating.

Walcott called the chance for students to grade their teachers “groundbreaking.”

State Education Commissioner John King also imposed an evaluation system for principals. Sixty percent of their evaluations will be based on visits by a superintendent or a designee.

King said the plan will be in effect “in perpetuity” unless both sides agree to change it through collective bargaining. City officials hailed that as a victory.

“Our refusal to accept a sunset provision was a primary reason why talks with the UFT broke down in January, and this ruling validates our decision to hold firm,” Bloomberg said.