Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, February 17, 2014

NYSED Admits Cuomo's APPR Teacher Evaluation System Is A Mess

Governor Cuomo threatened the Board of Regents last week if they made any adjustments to his APPR teacher evaluation system.

A day later, the Regents backed off and decided to table any changes to teacher evaluations for a few months.

Today we learned the following about Cuomo's "state of the art" APPR teacher evaluation system:

State education officials for the first time are acknowledging significant flaws in the accuracy of new teacher job ratings, forcing them to push back the deadline for public release of data showing how teachers rate in local districts until at least mid-March.

Department of Education staffers still are refining teacher evaluations for the 2012-13 school year, submitted by districts in October, spokesman Tom Dunn said last week. The job ratings measure teacher performance through a combination of students' scores on tests, classroom observations and additional factors, such as contacts with parents.

"We are taking every measure possible to ensure that our data release is accurate and protects personally identifiable information," Dunn said.

"There have been problems," he added. He did not provide any examples or say how numerous the flaws are.

SED did not say what these "problems" are, but since Cuomo wants to award merit pay based upon these ratings - as much as $20,000 - and since some jobs will be on the line if teachers receive two consecutive "ineffective" ratings in a row, it sure would be nice to know what these "problems" are soon.

Newsday hints at some of the problems, however, even if SED won't:

Anecdotal accounts provided by school administrators, teachers and others across the Island in recent months have suggested multiple reasons ratings may not accurately reflect teachers' classroom performance.

Islip school administrators reported in the fall, for example, that eighth-grade math teachers there had received less-than-effective ratings from the state, even though 89 percent of their students passed Regents algebra exams that are at a ninth-grade level. The low ratings stemmed from scores on another set of state tests geared specifically for eighth grade.

State authorities have obtained a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education to prevent such "double-testing" issues in the future.

East Rockaway, meanwhile, is seeking state permission to amend its evaluation plan to deal with perceived glitches. Lisa Ruiz, who took over as the district's superintendent in September, said she discovered that some teachers who had received "effective" ratings in all three subcomponents of the evaluation system nonetheless got lower "developing" scores overall.

"We certainly saw anomalies in our teacher scores, the first time around," Ruiz said.

SED says the ratings will be reported later this winter.

It does not bode well for the accuracy of the ratings - or the survival of Cuomo's APPR teacher evaluation system - that the release has to be delayed because of "significant flaws" and "problems."

Aren't you glad Cuomo threatened the Regents last week if they made any changes to the system?

Now he totally owns this system with the significant flaws and problems that have delayed release.


  1. When it comes to "neutral" arbitrator John King and his cohort of mercenaries at the SED, where does the incompetence end and the malice begin?