A deal has been reached that will create a fair process for evaluating teachers in state public schools. The deal, to be an amendment in the state budget, will ensure that New York receives more than $1 billion in federal funding that was contingent upon an agreement.
The city and the United Federation of Teachers have agreed to the new evaluation system. The key to winning the union support was the creation of a new appeals system for teachers who receive poor ratings.
This is a triumph for the governor, who has proven to be a skilled negotiator, and a defeat for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has focused much of his attention on education but has refused to work with the union.
Under the new system, an independent panel will hear appeals from teachers seeking to dispute a rating of “ineffective.” The compromise will keep the basic components of the teacher evaluation system intact. Student performance will count toward 40 percent of a teacher’s rating and other measures, such as observations primarily done by principals, will make up the remaining 60 percent.
The governor called the agreement “a victory for all New Yorkers. Government works, and that makes this state a better state.”
The governor was joined by the state’s education commissioner, John B. King Jr.; Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of the state’s teachers union; and Michael Mulgrew, president of the city teachers union, at a press conference announcing the agreement.
This is “a victory for all New Yorkers.” There are teachers who lost their love for teaching years ago and are killing time until they retire. There are others who never should have been teachers and they need to be removed.
But it is critical that the process of identifying those teachers be made fair. The independent appeals panel will go a long way toward ensuring that.
Unfortunately, the mayor remains committed to his plan to close and reopen 33 schools. There is probably nothing the governor can do to prevent that mistake from happening.
©2012 Community News Group
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