Plattsburgh on cutting edge of teacher evaluations

— Another 20 percent of the evaluation is a score the state gives the teacher based on students’ performance on standardized tests.

“If they don’t perform well, that 20 percent will be lower,” Short said.

The remaining 20 percent is based on internal measures of growth, also linked to student performance. But that is determined locally and is not based on standardized test scores.

“We are just now developing that part of the system,” Short said. “We are developing our own, but schools can spend money on testing companies. We believe we will have a better product if we work on it. You can learn a lot by creating something.”

Teachers in non-core subject areas that do not require standardized tests would be evaluated using multiple local measures for 40 percent of their score.

Teachers who exhibit outstanding performance must still undergo reflections and set goals to enhance their work.

Educators who are proven ineffective or developing, the two lowest terms, can be placed on a teacher-improvement plan. If a teacher has two consecutive years of poor performance, school districts can undertake an expedited 3020a hearing.

“That is the legal process for their removal from teaching,” Short explained. “It doesn’t matter if it is their first year of teaching or 40th year.”

Short stressed the process is new and the district will not hold evaluations against teachers the first year.

“These are state regulations, and the only part to be negotiated is the process for appeal, say for a poor evaluation.”

New York state is phasing in new evaluations, with core teachers in grades 4-8 falling under it this year and all educators the following year. Schools cannot ignore this, Short said.

Along the same lines, Plattsburgh City School is developing a new process to evaluate principals. It will be very similar to teacher evaluations and involve student test scores.

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