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What Stands in the Way of An Agreement on Teacher Evaluations?

An artile from GothamSchools examines what is standing in the way of an agreement between city and union officials on teacher evaluations.

The City and the union have yet to agree on a standard observation process, including how often observations should take place, what they should focus on, and when to schedule hearings for teachers who want to appeal low ratings.

While the negotiation process is complex, Micah Lasher, executive director of StudentsFirstNY, notes that the opinions of the opposing sides are predictable:

“Generally speaking, the position of the administration is going to be, you know, they want to give principals as much latitude to do more observations with less bureaucracy,” Lasher said. “And I think generally speaking the position of the union is going to be that teachers should have as much notice as possible about those observations and that principals should have a lot of process that they should have to go through both before and after.”

The process for teachers to appeal their ratings has been successfully written into law but will not go into effect until an evaluation system is agreed upon. Even with that agreement, some items will still need to be determined, including when appeals hearings will take place.

Although some of the evaluation system is set by state law, there must be an agreement between the city and the teachers' union by the January 17th deadline, or NYC schools will lose nearly $300 million.

You can help by signing the petition urging city officials and teachers union leaders to come to an agreement on a new teacher evaluation system.

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