Tonawanda News

March 26, 2013

State OKs teacher eval pact

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The governor and state lawmakers agreed Monday on a plan to install a permanent evaluation system for teachers and principals. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Senate majority coalition leaders Dean Skelos and Jeff Klein, as well as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said agreement has been reached on a bill that would, if passed in the legislature, guarantee every school district has a permanent teacher and principal evaluation system in place by June 1.

“This agreement ensures that every school district in New York has a permanent teacher evaluation system,” Cuomo said. “By guaranteeing that all our public schools have strong evaluations in place, we are putting the needs of students first and transforming our public education system for future generations to come.”

Cuomo established a new statewide evaluation system in 2012 that he said is one of the strongest in the country. The system is based on multiple measures of performance including student achievement and rigorous classroom observations. 

That earlier legislation required all school districts to implement an evaluation system based on the statewide system approved by the state Education Department or else risk losing increased education aid. The threat of withholding increased funding, to lesser and greater extents, led 687 out of 691 school districts to implement the system, according to Cuomo. 

“This agreement is a reasonable compromise that builds on the legislation we passed to enhance accountability in schools and give our students the first-class education they deserve,” Skelos said. I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to do more to improve education and help our kids compete and succeed.”