Cuomo: NY, Union Agree on Teacher Evaluation Plan

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, February 17, 2012

A statewide agreement announced Thursday will bring tougher teacher evaluations in public schools statewide and make student performance 40 percent of a teacher's grade.

The deal reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, teachers unions, and state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. would allow 60 percent of an evaluation to be based on classroom observation and other measures not related to standardized tests.

The deal broadly reflects a 2010 law passed by the Legislature to qualify for $700 million in federal education reform funds. King has said millions more in state aid is also tied to effective teacher evaluations.

The state plan now goes to local school districts, including New York City's, where local deals over specific areas such as appeals must be struck within a year. If not, Cuomo said he will deny a scheduled 4 percent increase in state aid, which would total $800 million, including $300 million for New York City schools alone.

Thursday's deal includes a settlement on an appeals process that has stopped negotiations on a local evaluation in New York City. But Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the United Federation of Teachers must still agree to an overall evaluation plan to secure the $300 million increase, Cuomo said.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew revealed some tension in the local talks, saying in Albany that the deal should show Bloomberg that good education policy is the product of discussion and not simply about closing ineffective schools.

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