For the last two years, labor-management teams from six school districts have been working with NYSUT's Innovation Initiative to pilot a comprehensive teacher evaluation model. Here's a snapshot of where they are:
Albany City Schools
Albany is currently using the Teacher Evaluation and Development (TED) system with about 335 teachers in grades 4-8 English language arts and math and for some teachers at Albany's designated Persistently Lowest Achieving (PLA) schools: Albany High School and Hackett Middle School.
By 2012-13, all teachers will be evaluated using TED and the NYSUT Teacher Practice Rubric, under a union/district agreement. Albany has provided training in the TED system for all administrators, plus 15 teachers who will serve as evaluation coaches, or consulting teachers.
Albany is training three teachers to work full-time as evaluation coaches for untenured teachers and teachers who receive a developing or ineffective rating. Professional development for New York State Teaching Standards is part of the mentor coordinator's work.
Hempstead has adopted the teacher practice rubric for its teacher evaluation model. The district is currently in negotiations regarding adoption of TED with the intention of using it with about 200 teachers in grades 4-8 ELA and math starting in January 2012.
Rollout trainings were slated for November for ELA teachers and December for math teachers. Communication on the new evaluation system has included union meetings, district meetings, school newsletters and faculty presentations.
Poughkeepsie City Schools
Poughkeepsie will start using NYSUT's Teacher Practice Rubric after training is completed with about 20 teachers at Columbus Elementary and about 105 staffers at the high school, which is eligible for School Improvement Grant funding.
Poughkeepsie plans to move into paired observation with a principal/peer model. TA President Debbie Kardas said the training included all principals, every department head from the high school and others who will act as peer evaluators. The entire staff will do stakeholder training which introduces teachers to the comprehensive process.
Plattsburgh City Schools
Plattsburgh is currently using TED with tenured teachers who have volunteered, first-year teachers who are working with a consultant teacher, some K-3 teachers in buildings with grade 4-8 teachers, and others in the grades 4-8 corridor. All second- and third-year teachers are using TED.
Plattsburgh has worked out contract language to support the determination of the 20 percent for local student achievement through the use of teacher-created assessments. Teachers meet with subject/grade peers and create a proposed measure and then meet with an evaluator/administrator to evaluate the assessment for rigor and comparability.
Plattsburgh has adopted a Peer Assistance Program with untenured teachers observed 15 times with consulting teachers. Other evaluation measures currently used are portfolios, peer partnering and goal-setting.
Stakeholders are learning about rollout in professional development sessions at individual building levels, schoolwide faculty presentations and community meetings.
North Syracuse Schools
North Syracuse is currently using TED with a cross spectrum of teachers who have volunteered, probationary teachers who are working with a consultant teacher, and teachers in buildings with grades 4-8. At the high school level, some of the Social Studies department and the Family and Consumer Science department are participating. Administrators have been assigned 10 teachers so they will each do 20 observations.
The Innovation Initiative team has developed professional development sessions at every building, including panel discussions to explain the state teaching standards and the evaluation system. North Syracuse has adopted a peer assistance program and is currently training three consulting teachers to work with untenured teachers and any teacher who receives a developing or ineffective rating.
Marlboro is currently using TED with all teachers grades 4-8 in ELA and K-2 teachers who have volunteered. By 2012-13 the intent is to have all teachers evaluated using TED and the teacher practice rubric. Teams of teachers and administrators are offering four 2 1/2-hour stakeholder rollout sessions in every building this school year.