NY Education Department Says 92% of Upstate Teachers Are Effective

New York State parents have a reason to smile according to a recent release of teacher evaluation data showing that a robust 92% are considered effective. The results from this evaluation have been touted by districts and unions who say that teachers are stepping up to the challenge of the Common Core.

The evaluation mostly consisted of observation and students’ performance, with an objective of improve teaching and learning. However, the results seem to be provisional as they do not include all teachers or New York City. They are also have not yet been broken down by specific schools, a step that will be taken later this year.

The state added that the highly controversial evaluation of teachers produced few poor grades. Just 1% were deemed ineffective, and 4% were characterized as “developing.”

The evaluations measured 126,829 teachers outside New York City.

The results come after the state released new student assessment scores as part of the Common Core program last summer showing that just 31 percent of New York students in elementary and middle schools were proficient in math and reading.

“The results are striking,” state Education Commissioner John King said in a statement. “The more accurate student proficiency rates on the new Common Core assessments did not negatively affect teacher ratings. It’s clear that teachers are rising to the challenge of teaching the Common Core.”

According to Joseph Spector of the Democrat and Chronicle, the evaluation system started in 2012 as part of a new state law. 60% of an educator’s rating is based on observations in the classroom agreed to by the local union and the schools. 20 % is based on student performance on grade 4-8 state tests, and local districts and unions decide the rest.

Principals were also evaluated; nearly 87 % of principals were deemed highly effective or effective.

“The purpose of the evaluation system is not to create a ‘gotcha’ environment,” Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said in a statement. “The goal is to improve teaching and learning by targeting professional development to make sure every student receives quality instruction.”