ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The New York State Board of Regents has released new plans for evaluating teachers, in a look beyond 2015 to improve children’s education.
As CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office asked for recommendations, and state education officials came back with a 20-page letter.
The letter called for, among other things, stronger state standards for evaluating teachers, and a process to make it easier to remove teachers rated ineffective.
Right now, the majority of evaluations are handled by local school districts.
The state Board of Regents and state Department of Education are asking the governor and state Legislature to update state law, make evaluations less local, and come up with a state scoring system to rate teachers for the part of the evaluation that is not tied to student test scores.
The next step, the letter said, is, “A teacher who has received two consecutive Ineffective ratings should not be permitted to return to the classroom.”
Cuomo did not talk about teachers specifically in his inaugural address Thursday, but he did talk about inequities in schools.
“Today, we have two education systems if we want to tell the truth — one for the rich and one for the poor,” he said. “And if you happen to be born in the wrong ZIP code, and go to a failing school, you will get left behind and never catch up. Public education that was the great equalizer in this society has become in some communities the great discriminator.”
On Wednesday, members of the state teachers’ union rallied outside the governor’s mansion demanding change.
Of the new recommendations, New York State United Teachers said the Education Department is missing the point, and that evaluating teachers more strictly isn’t going to solve the real problem, which is poverty and a lack of resources. Union vice president Andrew Pallotta said that is where the governor’s focus should be.
“I believe he needs to come to the public schools, to hold public forums, to hear from the people,” he said.
Just this week, Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have offered teachers in danger of losing their jobs more protection.
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