Last December, Governor Cuomo’s Education Task Force made several recommendations regarding education reform. In response to those recommendations, the New York State Board of Regents enacted a number of changes to state education policy. Many of these changes affect our APPR plan for this current school year and will impact what our plan will look like in the years to come.
The most significant change to our APPR plan for this school year pertains to teacher’s who have received a score based on student performance on the Grades 3-8 ELA and state Math assessments. The scores from these tests cannot be used in a teacher’s APPR for this year or the next three school years after this year.
Those teachers who have all, or part, of the 40 points of their APPR based off the ELA and State Math tests will receive a “Transition Score” this year which DOES NOT include those scores.
For example, a teacher who received a Stage Growth Measure Score worth 20 points on their APPR and also received a score for our local measure for 20 points that was also based on student performance on the ELA and State Math Assessments will only be graded this year on the remaining 60 points of their APPR – teacher observations. This situation will apply to almost all of our teachers in the K-8 grade levels.
In the coming weeks, our district APPR committee will be meeting to discuss adjustments in point values that will need to take place within the Danielson teacher observation rubric in order for teachers without test results to achieve up to a score of 100 on their APPR.
For teachers at the high school level, most student performance scores are NOT based on the state ELA and Math tests. Most teachers at these levels will receive an APPR score for this school year that is tabulated the same way as it was tabulated for the 2014-15 school year.
Without question, the new Board of Regents regulations create a situation that will result in some teachers in our district being rated based on different criteria than others. This is state law, not district policy, and not something which our union can negotiate.
It is also true that while scores from the ELA and State Math assessments will not be used in a teacher’s APPR, the test results will still be tabulated. In addition to the Transition Rating, teachers will also be issued the score they would have received if the state exams were included in their APPR. And, unfortunately, both the Transition Scores and the original scores with the test results will still be reported to the state education department, and will be available to parents who follow district protocols and request scores for teachers who teach their children.
To be sure, the LUT, NYSUT and several other agencies are continuing the fight against the over-testing of children and are fully supporting parent’s rights to opt their children out of these tests, especially because they no longer count for either the students’ academic records or a teacher’s APPR.
I strongly encourage any member of our Union with a question about the changes to this year’s APPR plan, or any questions whatsoever about APPR, to contact me directly for clarification.
This article was written by Joesph Romano, LUT APPR Committee Chairperson