May 2, 2018

Assembly Passes Legislation to Overhaul Teacher Evaluations

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Education Committee Chair Catherine Nolan today announced passage of a bill (A.10475) to eliminate the mandate that state created or administered tests be used to determine a teacher or principal's evaluation. The legislation will allow school districts and teachers to negotiate an effective and fair evaluation system to meet the diverse needs of their students and communities. The changes are an outgrowth of ongoing discussions for the past several weeks between the Assembly Majority Conference, the Governor and educators.

"The Assembly Majority is dedicated to ensuring that all of New York's students receive an education that will prepare them for successful futures. But it has become increasingly clear that standardized tests do not fully account for the diversity of our student populations," Speaker Heastie said. "Our legislation reflects that the performance of our teachers and students may not be accurately reflected in these test scores, and it makes commonsense reforms to ensure that teachers can give our students the best possible education."

"As the legislature and executive have grappled with this complex issue over the last few years it is clear that we need to step back and let local communities, experienced educators and the NYS Education Department and Board of Regents work out the best balance to evaluate teachers and move students forward," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan.

The legislation would remove the mandate that state created or administered assessments be used to evaluate a teacher's or principal's performance. The Commissioner of Education would be required to promulgate regulations providing alternative assessments for districts that choose not to use state assessments. The selection and use of assessments would be subject to collective bargaining. The bill would also eliminate the use of the state-provided growth model in a teacher or principal's evaluation. All teachers would be required to have a student learning objective (SLO) consistent with a goal-setting process determined or developed by the Commissioner.

The legislation would also eliminate the use of certain rules to determine a teacher or principal's overall rating, and make permanent provisions that prohibit grades three through eight ELA or math state assessments scores from being included on a student's permanent record.