Recently, the State Senate Majority issued a statement expressing concern about the legislation recently passed in the Assembly (A.10475, Nolan/S.8301, Marcellino) that would make several changes to teacher and principal evaluations, known as "Annual Professional Performance Reviews" (APPR).
As introduced this bill would eliminate the mandated use of State test scores as a part of teacher and principal evaluations (APPR) and require that districts collectively bargain which assessments will be used instead. This bill also purports to allow current APPR plans to remain in place until new agreements and plans are reached, without the loss of district state aid increases. In addition, this bill would make permanent the prohibition on state 3-8 test scores appearing as a part of a student's permanent record.
NYSSBA has raised concerns about the impact of this legislation, including the possibility that it could lead to an increase in student testing. NYSSBA has requested several changes to this bill before any final action is taken, specifically:
- Districts should not be required to collectively bargain over which student assessments will be used for the student performance measure in APPR; this should be a school district decision.
- More explicit language is needed to ensure that districts will not lose state aid while negotiating a successor APPR plan.
- The State Education Department will review and certify that any rubrics it approves for use in the evaluation of teacher observations are aligned with all of the elements set out in New York's teaching standards, so as to ensure a meaningful statewide APPR system.
- Districts should be allowed to differentiate the appropriate number and scope of observations conducted of tenured teachers as compared to probationary teachers so as to facilitate the ability of evaluators to conduct more meaningful evaluations.
Contact your legislators and request that these amendments be included if any legislation is enacted this session.