Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cuomo Tweaks APPR, Insists New York Remains A "Leader" In Holding Teachers Accountable

Capital Confidential details the program bill Cuomo released today, along with explanatory memo, that tweaks the APPR teacher evaluation system:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s program bill tweaking teachers evaluations related to the Common Core rollout has been released. The legislation would for two years protect teachers or principals rated “ineffective” or “developing” if that score was due to poor performances on the Common Core-related tests for English and math in grades 3-8.

The legislation covers evaluations for the just-ended school year and the one that begins in the fall.
The current evaluation system, set by Cuomo in 2012, derives 20 percent of a teacher’s grade on state test scores and another 20 percent from a circumscribed list of locally set standards.

In short: Any teacher receiving those poor ratings would have a second calculation performed on their score to determine if that below-the-line assessment was due to Common Core tests.

Teachers whose poor scores were the result of non-Common Core tests, however, would still face professional consequences.

“The bill does not include a moratorium or a delay,” the memo states in has warned that New York’s Race to the Top funding could be imperiled by watered-down teacher evaluations.

State of Politics reports:

In an accompanying bill memo, the governor’s office stresses the New York will remain a “leader” nationally in rating the effectiveness of teachers in the classrooms.

NYSUT President Magee claimed on Wednesday that this tweak to APPR is just the first step in a total rewrite of the teacher evaluation laws in New York State:

NYSUT President Karen Magee said Wednesday that negotiators may be closing in a last-minute deal to remove student test scores from the state's teacher-evaluation formula.

"If we remove the scores, there is a hole (in the formula)," Magee told The Journal News. "So we are looking at some sort of recalculation. We are putting the puzzle together, so there are a lot of moving pieces."

Magee said representatives from NYSUT and the governor's office, with input from state legislative leaders, are trying to mold an agreement that would cover this school year and next. Then NYSUT would be committed to seeing a larger rewriting of the evaluation system, known as the Annual Professional Performance Review.

"This is the first step toward an APPR overhaul going forward," Magee said. "We're looking to ensure we get those test scores out of there."

From what was released today, it doesn't sound like Sheriff Andy Cuomo agrees with that statement from Magee.

I'm cynical enough to know that she knows he won't go any further than the tweak we got today.

Quite frankly, I think she's posturing for members, not sending any messages to the governor or the Legislature.

In any case, looks like a minor tweak to APPR for two years is going to happen.

Doesn't seem like much, but given how many states are dropping out of Common Core and the PARCC tests that go with it, who knows what the education landscape is going to look like in two years?

Two former supporters of the Core, Mary Fallin in Oklahoma and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, both pulled their states out of the Core in recent weeks.

If enough pressure is put on Sheriff Andy over the Core and his APPR evaluation nonsense that mandates so much of the extra testing students are subjected to, he might fold like Fallin and Jindal too.


  1. So, put some pressure on!

  2. Michael FiorilloJune 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    While it's good to see opposition to the Common Core grow, let's not confuse that with an end to the attacks teachers are facing, let alone with making solid, good faith efforts to improve public school for students.

    While opposition to Common Core may be a precondition to the above, by itself it may not amount to much.

    1. I agree the teacher and union attacks will continue no matter what happens to CCSS, Michael.

      But I can envision a point when Cuomo's support for APPR - particularly the testing component tied to state tests - becomes a political albatross around his neck and he's forced to backtrack on it.

      So much of the Endless Testing kids are forced to endure is because of the evaluation system itself - and parents are becoming aware of that and don't like it.

      So in some ways APPR and the CCSS tests and the other so-called performance assessments all start to come together into one big thing that everybody fights against.

      That won't mean an end to the attacks on teachers and schools.

      But it would mean they have to take another form.

      That's what I meant when I said the education landscape could look a lot different in two years.

      After all, who would have ever thought that ed deformer Jindal would turn on CCSS and PARCC?

  3. Do high school teachers get that break too?