“In New York last year, about 99 percent of the teachers were rated effective while only 38 percent of high school graduates are ready for college or careers,” he wrote in an op-ed article in Newsday this month. “How can that be?” (During his State of the State address, he was even more blunt, calling it “baloney.”)
The governor’s proposal, which is strongly opposed by the state’s teachers’ unions, would reduce the weight of principals’ observations to just 15 percent of a rating. The judgment of an independent evaluator from outside the school would make up 35 percent. Fifty percent would be based on how much students improved, or slipped, on state exams; alternative measures would be used for teachers whose subjects do not include state exams, like art and physical education.
Whether the Legislature will go along with his plan is still unclear. But if nothing else, the fight between the governor and what seems like every principal, teacher and parent-teacher group in the state shows the enduring difficulty of finding an evaluation system that works.