September 2012
September 06, 2012

Short takes: State Ed approves 10 'model' APPRs

Source: NYSUT United

State Ed approves 10 'model' APPRs

The State Education Department has approved and posted 10 model teacher/principal Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) evaluation plans and provided feedback to more than 100 districts that need to make corrections in order to be approved.

The 10 districts with model plans are: Bellmore, Binghamton, Campbell-Savona, Jamesville-Dewitt, Kings Park, Pembroke, Schenectady, Syracuse, Union-Endicott and Valhalla.

NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira noted some plans call for modifying targets for students with disabilities or English language learners. Other promising elements call for student learning objectives to be developed collaboratively by teachers working with principals.

Before the school year began, SED reported 214 school districts submitted negotiated APPR agreements via the department's online portal. Since many locals were busy this summer working on completing their APPR plans, NYSUT expects that a number of agreements will be finalized by the end of September.

The agreements are required under the revised teacher/principal evaluation law passed earlier this year. Districts must have an SED-approved plan in place by Jan. 17, 2013 in order to receive their 2012-13 state aid increase.

A number of the model districts are using NYSUT's Teacher Practice Rubric, which was developed by a group of six pilot districts and unions working on NYSUT's Innovation Initiative. So far, more than 100 districts statewide are using NYSUT's practice rubric, which was recently revised and approved by SED.

The NYSUT Teacher Practice Rubric has been modified to reflect teacher and evaluator feedback from the field, streamlining evidence collection and clarifying student-centered teaching.

Commission to hear from NYSUT officers

As the New NY Education Reform Commission starts wrapping up its statewide series of public hearings, NYSUT officers Dick Iannuzzi and Maria Neira will address statewide issues at the Oct. 11 session at SUNY College at Old Westbury on Long Island.

The New NY Education Reform Commission, established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April, is charged with gathering input on "solutions to improve New York's public education system in order to better meet the needs of its students while also respecting the taxpayer."

The commission is hearing testimony on four topic areas: teacher quality, student achievement, school system structure and management, and community engagement.

The commission, which includes a cross-section of education, business and government representatives, includes American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Given the commission's controlled hearing process, a small number of teachers and local union leaders have testified about regional issues at earlier hearings in Albany, central New York and New York City.

Speakers have urged the panel to hold public hearings during the evening so more students, working parents and teachers can attend. The Long Island hearing is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The commission is scheduled to submit preliminary recommendations to the governor by Dec. 1.

— Sylvia Saunders