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New York State Teacher Evaluation Decision to Be Released by Saturday, June 1

Since New York City and the United Federation of Teachers could not reach an agreement on teacher evaluations, state Education Commissioner John King will make a decision by Saturday, June 1 on how to implement a new system.

Gotham Schools reports on King's plan to finish the process this weekend:

State Education Commissioner John King gets the final say on how city teachers will be evaluated using a process outlined earlier this month. He’ll formally start that process on Thursday, when officials from the Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers each have four hours to present their cases during arbitration hearings. The Council on School Supervisors and Superintendents, which represents principals, is slotted to present during a four-hour block on Friday morning.

King plans to release his plan, which is likely to borrow from each group’s proposal but does not have to, by Saturday afternoon.

City and union officials — and reporters — will then go into high gear to understand the process that King has devised, which will go into effect immediately for next year.

In addition to hearing from the city and the teachers union, King has already heard from a number of education reform groups, including StudentsFirstNY. In a letter to the education commissioner, StudentsFirstNY joined 10 other education reform groups in thanking him for his leadership on teacher evaluations and making recommendations for the new system. The letter reads in part:

The details of the system you impose will be critically important. If you make the right choices—based on the latest research and lessons from other evaluation systems across the country—teachers in New York City will finally get the regular feedback they deserve as professionals, and more students will get to learn from effective teachers who can prepare them for success in college and beyond.

If you simply split the difference between the two parties’ demands, however, you risk diluting the impact of the 2010 state law and making little improvement on the City’s current evaluation system, which rates nearly all teachers “satisfactory” and gives them little useful feedback.

Nobody wants New York City to become the latest example of a school system that replaces an old, flawed evaluation system with an equally flawed new one.

Read the full letter here.

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