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NY State Board Of Regents Approves New Teacher Evaluation System

The New York State Board of Regents has approved a new teacher evaluation system.  The board had until the end of the month to come up with a new system that relies more heavily on state standardized tests.

Tuesday they voted to increase the weight of state tests from 20 percent to 25 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. Governor Andrew Cuomo had proposed raising it to as much as 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation.

Board member Roger Tilles said the board also voted to base another 25 percent of a teacher’s evaluations on new local tests. Those local tests would be administered several times a year to measure student growth. The tests would have to be approved by the State Department of Education by September 1. Tilles said local tests would take into account socio-economic background when calculating student performance, and that those calculations would include whether English is a student’s first language.

Tilles said it’s not likely the department of education would approve all new local tests in time for districts to negotiate with teachers unions before the deadline, and that means most school districts would qualify for a four month hardship extension to adopt the new teacher evaluation system. He said that those schools, in effect, would not have to start the new teacher evaluation system until the 2016-2017 school year.

Cassandra Basler, a former senior editor at WSHU, came to the station by way of Columbia Journalism School in New York City. When she's not reporting on wealth and poverty, she's writing about food and family.