NYC Pushes to Adopt Cuomo’s Teacher Evaluation Plan

Mayor Bloomberg’s administration has declared its keenness to embrace Governor Andrew Cuomo’s teacher evaluation proposals, and replace the 2010 law with one that makes it easier to fire low-rated teachers and spells out how they can appeal a poor evaluation.

The Bloomberg administration has asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help put an end to the months-long labor dispute by scrapping the state’s teacher evaluation law, writes Lisa Fleisher at the Wall Street Journal.

Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the law was “not going to work as constructed,” referring to the fact that it restricts the power that the city may yield in the firing of ineffective teachers.

Walcott said:

“We have a responsibility to make sure that the law gives us the ability to move those teachers out, to be fair to them at the same time, provide them proper professional development, but at the end of the day moving them out of the system.”

It is believed that Bloomberg’s administration wants the governor to force the matter through the annual budget process, despite the dispute with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) over several issues, including the process for teachers to appeal bad ratings.

The City is also fighting the New York State United Teachers, who sued the State Education Department over how much weight to give various parts of the evaluation system.

However, even if the two disputes are settled, officials want to see the law changed.

“A state education official said any settlement with the state teachers union would also need to be written into law,” writes Fleisher.

While Cuomo has attempted to keep independent in the dispute, he has signaled that he would be keen to see an arrangement made soon.

If an agreement is to be made, UFT President Michael Mulgrew wants to see a fair appeals process to prevent the city schools chancellor from having final say over appeals. He would also like to see sufficient teacher training options included.

However, a source close to the UFT told Fleisher that the UFT would be willing to accept an appeals process that gives the chancellor final say — as long as the whole process is public.