NYS teacher evaluation guidelines set

Governor Cuomos’s office announced teacher evaluation guidelines have been agreed to by the state education department and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).

According to a news release from the Governor’s press office today, the plan gives 60% of evaluation weight to teacher performance based primarily on classroom observation and 40% to student achievement as measured by scores on state and local assessments.

At least 31% of the points must be based on observations by a principal or other administrator; at least one of the observations must be unannounced. The remaining points must be based on defined standards that can include:

  • Observations by independent trained evaluators.
  • Peer classroom observations.
  • Student and parent feedback from evaluators.
  • Evidence of performance through student portfolios.

Twenty percent of the student achievement portion  of the evaluation must be based on state tests and 20 percent from three testing options that include:

  • State tests
  • Third party tests or tests approved by the state education department
  • Locally developed tests (subject to SED review and approval)

Districts are allowed to use state tests for the entire 40 percent of a teacher’s rating.

Scoring for the evaluations is as follows:

  • Ineffective: 0 – 64
  • Developing: 65 – 74
  • Effective: 75 – 90
  • Highly Effective: 91 – 100

School districts and teacher unions set the allocation of points (called “the curve”) for teacher ratings.

The state education commissioner can approve or disapprove local evaluation plans.

Part of today’s announcement was an appeals process for the New York City schools. That process will go into effect Jan. 17, 2013 if the city and the teachers’ union agree to an overall evaluation system.