Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Why Is The Independent Observer Still In The Regents Teacher Evaluation Plan?

Board of Regents pulled a Friday evening document dump and released their proposed teacher evaluation plan.

Skimming through it, it remains a muddled mess, though the independent observation is now down to as little as 10% of the overall rating:

The statewide minimum standard would be two observations (one principal/supervisor; one independent) with the frequency and duration determined locally.
In addition to the above, short walkthrough observations are permissible.
Observations may exceed these minimum standards and any additional observations may be included in the overall observation score, as determined locally.
At least one observation must be unannounced .
The percentage for the principal/supervisor observation shall be established locally, but must be at least 80%;
The percentage for the independent observation shall be established locally, but must be at least 10%;
The percentage for the optional peer observation shall be established locally within these constraints.

What's the point of having to expend all the time, energy and resources on independent observers if the independent observation is only 10%?

I'll tell you what the point is.

Cuomo decided there will be independent observations and by golly, there are going to be independent observations!

We will have none of this in-house observation inflation that has obviously occurred over the past couple of years with APPR - except that, given that the outside observer can be worth as little as 10%, little will actually change from previous years.

In fact, if I'm reading this correctly, there can be two observations under this new system with the in-house one worth 90% and the outside one worth 10%.

Sure, there can be more observations, but the minimum is two, with one in-house (worth up to 90%) and one outside observer (worth as little as 10%).

So essentially, the in-house observation is the whole ballgame when it comes to observations.

Again I ask, what's the point of outside observers if they're only worth 10%?

Not that I want the outside observations at all, but I do like to point out the horse hockey in the system and here is a prime example of it.

More on the evaluation plan later.


  1. This is complete nonsense courtesy of the Board of Regents, Governor Cuomo, Senator John Flanagan/Dean Skelos and Speaker Carl Heastie. I have grown extremely resentful of this crew, who know absolutely nothing about modern day teaching and learning. The Board of Regents is still out of it, even with the recent turnover. NYSUT and the UFT have both proven to be completely inept and useless. It's obvious that no politician cares what the union thinks and, frankly, some of the union's positions are horrible from my point of view.

  2. But must be AT LEAST 10%. It's called getting your foot in the door. So what if it stays at 10% for a while. When they think the coast is clear 10 will turn into 60. And you know it.

  3. KEY QUESTIONS: If the principal's observation is worth 90% of the evaluation does this mean the principal evaluation will be a formal, announced, observation with a pre-and post meeting? Does this mean the outside evaluator will be conducting the unannounced observation? Will the UFT fight for the bare minimum of two observations in NYC? (One observation from the principal and one observation from the outside evaluator) I for one will actually be in favor of one announced observation from my principal worth 90% of my evaluation and one unannounced observation worth a mere 10% from an outside evaluator. This eliminates some of the "gotcha" hits that can take place with 3 or more unannounced observations that we currently have. However, the key will be that the UFT will need to step up in the local negations to fight for the bare, legally mandated ,two observations. My guess is that the principals union will be mostly in favor of the bare minimum of observations due to the excessive amount of time and paperwork required under our current system of 4 or more observations per year. Anybody have deeper info on this topic?