NY Gov: Sharpen ax for bad teachers

May 15, 2011

By YOAV GONEN, The New York Post

A month after state education officials released draft guidelines for a tougher teacher evaluation system, Gov. Cuomo said yesterday the changes aren’t tough enough.

In a letter to Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, Cuomo blasted the lack of rigor of the proposed evaluations as well as their slow implementation — arguing that the state needs a better way to judge teachers now.

Cuomo has cited the new evaluations as a solution to the city’s stalled bid to abolish “last in, first out” laws governing teacher layoffs — arguing that better evaluations would successfully remove bad teachers.

He called for more weight to be given to student performance on state tests — allowing them to count for 40 percent of a teacher’s rating as opposed to just 20 percent — and to multiple observations from supervisors throughout the year.

Cuomo also said teachers should earn an overall positive rating only if they score well both on objective measures, like test scores, and on subjective ones, like supervisor observations — rather than being able to eke out a good rating by scoring high in just one area.

“Our goal should be to have the best system of evaluation in the nation, yet our proposed system falls short of other states,” wrote Cuomo. “We must not squander the opportunity to set the right course and make New York a leader in evaluating performance in our education system.”

To read more, visit:  http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/gov_sharpen_ax_for_bad_teachers_AMAzMyHXs9H3qJjCdq6WjM

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