These are some reactions to the teacher-evaluation agreement announced today by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state Education Department, New York State United Teachers and the United Federation of Teachers. Forty percent of the evaluations are based on student progress and 60 percent will be based on classroom observations and other measures. The amendment also includes provisions for an expedited appeals process in New York City, where the city administration and union have been struggling to agree on the matter.
The deal is one of the governor’s 30-day budget amendments. If it is passed as part of the budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which starts April 1, it will resolve ongoing litigation over the 2010 law that required teacher evaluations and the Education Department’s regulations. NYSUT, which helped craft the 2010 law, sued the state on the regulations. It largely won the case in state Supreme Court and the state appealed. No decision has been handed down.
The agreement will protect more than $2.5 billion in federal Race to the Top and other education funds over two years, according to state Education Commissioner John King.
This is from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan:
“Earlier this year, I called on the Governor to intervene to help settle the statewide teacher evaluation issue, and I am grateful that he has stepped in to help bring this to a conclusion.
“Today’s announcement reflects a successful compromise by all parties involved and allows us to move forward in making our schools the best they can be. The original intent of the 2010 law that led to New York’s Race to the Top award can now be fulfilled.
“I remain hopeful that we can avoid schools closures in New York City, which continues to be a bargaining issue between the Mayor and the United Federation of Teachers, since overcrowding is already a chronic problem in our public school system.
“There is no greater responsibility than to ensure our children have the confidence, intelligence and compassion they need to become our future leaders. This is the responsibility of not only teachers, but parents, administrators, and lawmakers. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his efforts so we can ensure New York’s students get the quality education they deserve.”
This is from Jessica Cohen, chairwoman of the BOCES Educational Consortium:
“The BOCES Educational Consortium congratulates Governor Cuomo, Education Commissioner John King, and state teachers’ union president Richard Ianuzzi for reaching an agreement on an educational evaluation system that is supported by teachers and state leaders alike.
“A rigorous evaluation system is an essential component of a healthy education system; it is the feedback that helps all educators improve. The Governor’s leadership in reaching today’s agreement resolves uncertainties about aspects of the state’s evaluation plan and allows school leaders’ focus to shift toward implementation.
“Strong evaluations lead to better instruction, which in turn leads to increased student achievement.
“New York’s network of BOCES serves the school districts that educate nearly 2 million children. Each BOCES stands ready to offer training on the implementation of today’s agreement and on the shift to the national Common Core curriculum. We will also offer local assessments and data analysis that complement the state’s assessments to assure that student achievement data offers as complete a picture as possible.
“The new framework ensures that New York will retain the $700 million Race to the Top grant which is essential to developing New York’s next generation of assessment, curriculum and data infrastructure. Moreover, it strengthens New York’s application for a waiver from the counterproductive provisions of No Child Left Behind.”