May 20, 2015

Assembly Passes Bill Modifying Teacher and Principal
Evaluation Process

The New York State Assembly Majority today announced the passage of legislation that would extend the deadline for the implementation of the statewide teacher and principal evaluation system so that the Board of Regents has sufficient time to carefully consider input from educators, administrators, and other stakeholders in order to properly implement a new evaluation system and to comply with the timelines established in the State Administrative Procedure Act (A.7303-A, Nolan). These changes aim to improve upon provisions of law dealing with a complex issue that was passed as part of the state budget, so that students and schools are not denied vital resources while the new evaluation system is being developed.

"The teacher evaluation system continues to be a controversial topic of discussion. With the adoption deadline just over a month away, the Assembly must act in the best interest of students and ensure that they will not be negatively impacted," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. "After hearing from the experts in this field, we have put forth this bill which will allow the Board of Regents needed additional time to continue their work without imminent threat of depriving schools of essential aid or the flexibility necessary to provide a quality education to all students in the state."

"This legislation strengthens the teacher evaluation and improves the instructional value of student assessment," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, chair of the Assembly Education Committee. "By giving the State Education Department and school districts more time to implement professional evaluation system, it will be done right -with input from superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and the public. It is important that we do this right."

The measure would extend the deadline for the Regents to adopt regulations from June 30 to November 17, 2015 to be consistent with the timelines in the State Administrative Procedure Act and extend by one year (November 15, 2016) the deadline for districts to fully implement the new performance review requirements. It would also delink the increase in state aid to implementation of a new annual teacher and principal evaluation system which would take pressure off schools, especially those with high need.

In addition, the legislation would: