Thursday, December 18, 2014

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City Teachers Make the State's Grade

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This is the first year city teachers were evaluated under a new rating system and the results are out. In fact, officials say the process may have worked better here than elsewhere in the state. NY1's Lindsey Christ filed this report.

Ninety-one percent of city teachers did well under the new evaluation system, scoring a rating of either "effective" or "highly effective." When compared to the rest of the state, though, it might look like the city has fewer of the best.

Outside of the city, 58 percent of teachers got the highest of four possible ratings. Within the city: just 9 percent received the top score.

Education officials say, however, that the city's results are likely more accurate. State Education Commissioner, John King, said, in part, “I’m concerned that in some districts, there’s a tendency to blanket everyone with the same rating. That defeats the purpose."

The evaluation system comes out of a state law passed in 2010 and marks the first time that teachers are rated—at least in part—on how well their students do on tests: up to 40 percent of a teacher's final grade can be based on a combination of student test scores.

Each of the state's 700 school districts, however, worked out the details with their local teachers unions, and the result, critics say, are systems very similar to the one they were supposed to replace—a system in which 97 percent of teachers were rated satisfactory each year.

Here, where the city and the union were never able to come to an agreement, the state imposed a system.

Nine percent of city teachers were rated "highly effective," 83 percent "effective," 7 percent rated "developing" and one percent were deemed "ineffective."

In a statement, Chancellor Carmen Fariña said, in part, "A well-developed evaluation system—with four, much more nuanced ratings, instead of only two—helps us identify and provide specific support to struggling teachers, as well as identify those who do not belong in the classroom."

Principals were also evaluated under a new system.

In the city, 18 percent of principals were rated "highly effective," 74 percent "effective," 7 percent "developing" and two percent of city principals were rated "ineffective."

Similar to the teacher evaluations, the ratings for city principals were more widely distributed among the different tiers than elsewhere in the state.

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