Time To Scrap APPR And Return Control To Local Districts

A statement from Assemblyman Ed Ra (R –Franklin Square)

“While I was very disappointed with Gov. Cuomo’s decision to veto his own legislation, which would have provided a ‘safety net’ to prevent teachers from being held responsible for the State Education Department’s failed implementation of Common Core, I acknowledge that this bill was an imperfect fix to a fundamentally flawed evaluation system.

“The Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) teacher evaluation plan was forced upon school districts under the threat of funding cuts without consideration of many concerns raised at the time it was put forward. I voted no on APPR, and many of my misgivings about it have since come to fruition. APPR has cost New York’s school districts hundreds of thousands of dollars, in addition to countless hours spent by staff to generate results no one believes to hold much merit. This is the direct result of our state choosing to chase federal dollars and relinquish local school board control to federal bureaucracies.

“Now that Congress has defunded Race to the Top, I encourage our state’s education department to halt this unfunded mandate and move away from increased reliance on high stakes testing. I also urge my colleagues in the legislature and the governor to formulate a flexible system that allows school districts to tailor their evaluation plans to the specific needs and circumstances of their individual districts.”