by Levittown United Teachers APPR Chairperson, Joseph Romano
Teachers have not received a complete score for their APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) for the past three school years. Due to the pandemic, many state exams were canceled or administered sporadically. As a result, there was no student performance data that could be used to generate the student performance portion of a teacher’s APPR.
The New York State Board of Regents has signaled its intent to return to a traditional administration of state exams for the 2022-23 school year. With the return of state testing and the subsequent return of available test score data, we can also expect a return of the requirement for districts to report test results to NYSED (the New York State Education Department) for purposes of creating student performance scores for APPR. This means we can also expect to receive a complete APPR score for the 2022-23 school year.
What exactly is APPR?
APPR has been a part of public education in New York State since 2010. It was created due to the passage of a law prescribing changes to the annual performance evaluation of teachers and principals. APPR does not apply to teaching assistants, teacher aides or pupil personnel titles. Under the law, school districts and BOCES are required to conduct a review for teachers and principals, resulting in a rating of “highly effective,” “effective,” “developing,” or “ineffective.” This rating is produced through an assessment of student performance on state exams and scores from teacher observations conducted by school administrators.
Over the past 12 years several stakeholders in public education have pushed back against aspects of the APPR law that were unfair to teachers and students and harmful to public education. Using the strength that comes in no small part from our VOTE/COPE contributions, our state union, NYSUT, has been very strong in fighting in public and in the courts against the student growth measure and the use of the grade 3-8 ELA and math exams in APPR. As many will recall, the grade 3-8 ELA and math exams were found to be highly flawed and over the years have been met a wave of opt-out requests from parents across the state.