Press Release: SFNY Statement on Historic Teacher Evaluation Results

APPR results show that Governor Cuomo's evaluation system worked in New York City, but was undermined by low standards across the state. 
Albany must act to strengthen system; De Blasio must reward the best and improve the worst.

"New York City's results prove that Governor Cuomo's evaluation system measures teacher effectiveness when implemented in good faith — making it a critical tool to improve schools for kids.  Unfortunately, most districts and unions across the state set the bar so low that nearly 60% of teachers got the highest rating when only a third of students read and do math at grade level.  Albany must act to strengthen the system to live up to its promise, and Mayor de Blasio must develop a plan to reward our best teachers and improve the worst immediately."

-- Jenny Sedlis, StudentsFirstNY Executive Director



What's new and significant about today's results:

  • Using the State-imposed evaluation system, NYC has the most credible results of any district in the state.
Rating    NYC Rest of State  
Highly Effective    9.2% 58.2%  
Effective    82.5% 29.3%  
Developing    7.0% 2.0%  
Ineffective    1.2% 0.4%

  • It is an absurd notion that the majority of NY's teachers are "highly effective" when the majority of children are not meeting basic learning standards. 
  • Every district that failed to use the State's model had outrageously inflated scores for teachers that don't in any way reflect the learning of their students. The districts and local bargaining units made a mockery of the process to "gum up the works" as UFT boss Michael Mulgrew had admitted.
  • What accounts for NYC's different results: 
    • NYC set strong standards for the locally negotiated components of the evaluation system.
    • NYC developed performance assessments that are more aligned to Common Core.
    • NYC used video in the feedback process, allowing teachers and principals to look deeper and learn more. The district also uses talent coaches to spot weaknesses principals might not have seen right away.
  • In NYC, we can actually see differentiation between who's effective and who's not. Most districts were pressured to inflate their locally selected measures (collectively bargained at the district level), while NYC's local measures closely mirror what one would expect based on the state growth measure.
Rating State Growth Locally Selected Measures Other Measures
Highly Effective 7.7% 7.1% 30.8%
Effective 81.2% 83.1% 60.0%
Developing 7.4% 7.1% 8.0%
Ineffective 3.8% 2.7% 1.1%


Other important stats buried in the SED report:

  • Observations or "Other Measures" produced the most absurdly inflated teacher scores.Ratings based on student growth on the state test remain almost identical from year to year, making it the most consistent measure. (In 2013-2014, the breakdown was 8% Highly Effective, 77% Effective, 10% Developing, and 6% Ineffective.)

    • More than half the districts across NYS rated over half of their workforce Highly Effective in this area.

    • In 2012-13, 128 districts rated 95-100%  -- nearly every single one -- of its teachers Highly Effective in this section. In 2013-14, these trends continued in a majority of the 128 districts, due to "persistently non-differentiating observers."

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