New state regulations finally were put into motion on Monday for .
“These are not perfect tools by any means,” the chancellor of the Board of Regents, Merryl H. Tisch, said. “But that being said, I believe it is important to have an objective system to evaluate teachers on a professional basis. This is the beginning of such a process.”
For months, the Board of Regents, the state’s education policy-making body, and Governor Andrew Cuomo have gone back and forth about the scope of objectivity that should be set for teacher evaluations, as Mayor Bloomberg continues to push for an end to seniority protections in layoffs.
The biggest item in question was how and to what degree to tie teacher performance with student performance. A measure passed last year outlined 20 percent of students’ test scores as the standard.
Both Bloomberg and Cuomo wanted to see tougher evaluations for teachers in which an increased emphasis would be place on students' standardized test scores.
The new evaluations passed on Monday will allow up to 40 percent of teachers’ annual reviews to be based on state standardized tests, a clear move in Cuomo's favor.
The United Federation of Teachers has pushed back against many of these measures, but ultimately, was forced to negotiate terms – a requirement, if the schools expected to get any of the $700 million Race to the Top grant money the state won last summer.
Cuomo said on Friday he would offer an incentive to school districts that put the evaluation system into effect -- eligibility for a portion of the $500 million set aside in the state budget to reward school performance.
However, Richard C. Iannuzzi, the head of the state union, New York State United Teachers, opposed the revision, calling it “clearly outside the scope of the legislation.”
The new system will be implemented in the coming school year for English and math teachers, grades 4 through 8, and then for all other teachers the following year.