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What you need to know for 01/19/2017

Cobleskill-Richmondville board approves teacher evaluation plan

Cobleskill-Richmondville board approves teacher evaluation plan

The Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District expects its new teacher evaluation plan to reac

The Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District expects its new teacher evaluation plan to reach the state Education Department this week.

The district’s Board of Education met at 7 a.m. Wednesday to sign off on the plan in hopes of meeting a Jan. 17 deadline to avoid losing out on state funding.

“I think we have a great plan. I’m very pleased with it. It was a collaborative, team approach,” district Superintendent Lynn Macan said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to withhold a roughly 4 percent state aid increase from any district that doesn’t meet the deadline to have a state-approved plan in place to evaluate the performance of teachers and principals. The mandate required districts to hold meetings with teacher unions to pursue agreements.

The state is pushing the program as a way to transform the state’s public education system by holding teachers accountable for the achievement of students. Success will mean New York state gets $700 million from the federal government’s Race to the Top program.

According to the state’s online “teacher evaluation tracker,” the Gilboa-Conesville Central School District has a plan approved, while evaluation plans submitted by the Jefferson, Middleburgh and Sharon Springs districts await approval from the state Education Department. Schoharie Central School District Superintendent Brian Sherman indicated in an email Wednesday that that district’s plan remains under development.

Macan said Cobleskill-Richmondville’s Board of Education reached an agreement Friday with the teachers union and reviewed the final plan for submission to the state Education Department. Macan said the new plan requires teachers who aren’t tenured to undergo in-class evaluation three times a year by an administrator. Tenured teachers, who up until now have a full-class observation every three years, will have one annually.

The state early this year announced an agreement on an evaluation system that relies on the achievement of students and observations of teachers in the classroom. A point system established under the plan yields up to 60 points for the teacher evaluation portion based on observations by administrators.

The other 40 points in the rating system is based on student achievement, to be determined by grades on state tests, third-party assessments approved by the state, or locally developed tests, also to be approved by the state.

To be considered “highly effective,” teachers will have to receive an evaluation grade from 91 to 100. Grades from 75 to 90 will yield an “effective” ranking, and a grade of 65 to 74 will label the teacher as “developing.” Those with grades from zero to 64 will be deemed “ineffective.”

People can learn more about the teacher evaluation initiative online at www.governor.ny.gov/BuildingaNewNY/TeacherEvaluationTracker.

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