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March 26, 2013

Leaders agree on teacher evaluations

Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — State political leaders announced an agreement Monday that will ensure a permanent teacher and principal evaluation system is in place by June 1, according to a medial release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Last year Cuomo established a statewide evaluation system based on multiple measures of performance including student achievement and classroom observations. Last year, he also signed a law requiring all school districts to implement an evaluation system based on the statewide system approved by the state Education Department or risk losing their increase in education aid — resulting in 99 percent compliance, including all area districts.

The agreement ensures 100 percent compliance.

Its components include: All evaluation systems implemented will remain in effect unless there are agreed to changes by the district and local bargaining unit; the four remaining school districts that have failed to implement an evaluation system — New York City, Pine Plains, Fallsburg and Hamburg — have until May 29 to reach an agreement on a system, otherwise binding arbitration will commence and the state will impose a system on the district by June 1; school districts without an implemented plan will continue to remain ineligible for annual state education aid increases.

“This agreement ensures that every school district in New York has a permanent teacher evaluation system,” Cuomo said. “We are putting the needs of students first and transforming our public education system for future generations to come.”