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Regent proposes moratorium extension on teacher evaluations

Eileen Buckley

Earlier this week the New York State Board of Regents announced that it would extend the moratorium on linking teacher evaluations to standardized test scores, but the New York State Education Department must return a proposal. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley says the extension is for another year through the 2019-20-school year. 

When MaryEllen Elia became New York State Education Commissioner three years ago - there was a huge outcry that teacher’s Annual Professional Performance Review, known as APPR, was lined to students test scores for Math and English. Then a moratorium was put in place, however, it expired this past June. Elia tells WBFO News state Ed is trying to work through the issue and listening to teachers.

“We started last February. We put out a survey across the state. Over 22,000 teachers and administrators responded to that survey. We're now taking that information since proposed legislation did not pass through the legislature. We are taking that information from our survey and we are starting to work to gather information from the people that are actually affected by that and that is our teachers,” explained Elia.

Credit WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley
Inside a West Seneca classroom.

State Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa has directed Elia and State Ed to return next month with a proposal for extending the moratorium. . Elia tells us they want teachers to play an active role in creating evaluations for the future.

“So they should be the designers of what would be a quality evaluation that gives them feedback, so that every day they know the things they can work on to get better,” Elia noted. “In fact this is a productive approach to us to have both teachers and principals tell us the things that really help them to be able to get better.”

New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) welcomed news of the proposed extension. But the teachers’ union pledges it will continue to seek a long-term legislative solution that would place teacher evaluations back in the hands of local control. The union says teachers and local school districts know what “works best in their communities”

State lawmakers could still approve legislation next year that permanently end evaluations based on student test scores.

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