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Evaluation plans need tweaking

By Lombardo David
Monday, January 14, 2013

A handful of Capital Region school districts need to resubmit their teacher and principal evaluation plans before Thursday.

The Bunt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District, Galway School District and Schoharie Central School District are among the 29 school districts that need to tweak their initial Annual Professional Performance Review proposals by Thursday, so they don't lose out on an increase in state aid.

The full list of schools that need to have plans approved is available below.

“The deadline set by the Governor and the Legislature is closing in," warned state Education Department Commissioner John King Jr., who stressed that plans will not be rubber stamped.

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.

"Evaluation plans must be approved by January 17, and that approval process takes time," he said in a statment. "Every plan we’ve received so far has required some revisions. The sooner a district submits a plan, the more likely it is we can work with them to ensure that plan is approved. The goal is to make certain every student graduates from high school college- and career-ready."

King added, "We will not sacrifice quality for expediency just to approve a last minute submission. Every district’s plan must be consistent with the law."

At the end of last summer the plan submitted by the Schenectady City School District was touted by the state as a model plan. The Saratoga Springs City School District reached its agreement in October.

Follow @poozer87 on Twitter. Ed Munger contributed to this post.

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