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Most schools haven’t submitted evaluation plans

Monday, October 8, 2012
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— Few Capital Region school districts have submitted their teacher evaluation plans — despite facing a deadline of less than four months before they lose state aid.

Nearly two-thirds of 41 districts in The Daily Gazette’s coverage area haven’t submitted their Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan regarding how they will rate teachers and principals.

Schools must turn in their plans by Jan. 17 at the latest or they risk not getting the planned 3.5 percent increase in state aid.

Under state law passed last year, 20 percent of the evaluation score must be based on standardized test results. Another 20 percent is based on locally developed tests. The remaining 60 percent is based on classroom observation and other traditional evaluation measures.

Within this broad framework, districts have to develop the individual details of the evaluations.

Evaluation situation

Status of school district’s teacher evaluation plans:

ALBANY COUNTY

Approved:

Albany

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk

Submitted but not approved:

South Colonie

Not submitted:

Berne-Knox-Westerlo

Guilderland

FULTON COUNTY

Submitted but not approved:

Mayfield

Not submitted:

Broadalbin-Perth

Gloversville

Johnstown

Northville

Oppenheim-Ephratah

Wheelerville Union

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Submitted but not approved:

Canajoharie

Fort Plain

St. Johnsville

Not submitted:

Amsterdam

Fonda-Fultonville

SARATOGA COUNTY

Approved:

Schuylerville

Stillwater

Submitted but not approved:

Galway

Waterford-Halfmoon

Not submitted:

Ballston Spa

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake

Corinth

Edinburg

Mechanicville

Saratoga Springs

Shenendehowa

South Glens Falls

SCHENECTADY COUNTY

Approved:

Mohonasen

Schalmont

Schenectady

Submitted but not approved:

Niskayuna

Not submitted:

Duanesburg

Scotia-Glenville

SCHOHARIE COUNTY

Not submitted:

Cobleskill-Richmondville

Gilboa-Conesville

Jefferson

Middleburgh

Schoharie

Sharon Springs

Source: www.governor.ny.gov/Buildinga

NewNY/TeacherEvaluationTracker

It is a time-consuming process, according to Scotia-Glenville spokesman Robert Hanlon.

“Everything has to be negotiated,” he said. “The biggest stumbling block is trying to find out exactly what the state is looking for.”

Still, Hanlon said the district is on track to meet the deadline.

“It’s crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s,” he said. “The state is very strict in its regulations. We want to make sure once it’s submitted, it’s approved. We don’t want it to get kicked back to us.”

School officials cannot talk extensively about the matters subject to negotiation with its teachers and principals unions.

Likewise, Shenendehowa school spokeswoman Kelly DeFeciani said the district is working its way through the negotiations.

“We anticipate to have the plan finalized in the coming weeks and submitted on time to the state,” she said.

The Gloversville Enlarged School District is also taking its time in its discussions with the union, according to Superintendent Michael Vanyo.

“We want to be sure that what we submit to the state gets accepted,” he said in an emailed statement.

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Superintendent McGrath said the district is shooting to have its plan completed by mid-October. School officials want to get the plan right and there are so many details.

“We were just ironing them out one at a time,” he said.

School officials have had many conversations about effective teaching and how to measure it, McGrath said. However, during the summertime, it was difficult to get all the parties together in the same room.

Also time consuming was the process to create Student Learning Objectives (SLOs), which determine what concepts students need to have mastered by the time they complete the course.

“We spent a lot of time over the summer writing pre-tests,” McGrath said.

The district has 20 evaluators to review 280 teachers. McGrath said all of the tenured teachers will get one formal observation and one informal observation and they will also have to submit a portfolio that demonstrates their professional development, community participation and communication with parents. Teachers without tenure need more than one formal observation.

Some staff are apprehensive about the process, according to McGrath.

“People are nervous and people are cautious about what it’s going to be like,” McGrath said.

 
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