State releases outline of evaluation system it's imposing on NYC

Student surveys, observation options for teachers, and a role for educators at each school are part of the city’s new teacher evaluation system, which State Education Commissioner John King is imposing today.

The plan appears to contain some elements that will please each of the Department of Education and the United Federation of Teachers, which were not able to agree on a system by a January deadline. The plan will be in place until 2017, unless the city and teachers union negotiate a different plan before then.

The actual plan won’t be posted until later this evening, but the state’s press release has the highlights:

COMMISSIONER KING RELEASES NYC TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL EVALUATION PLAN New York State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. today released his teacher and principal evaluation plan for New York City.  Legislation enacted earlier this year mandated that King impose an Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plan for any district without an approved plan in place by May 29.  New York City is the only district in the state to fail to meet that deadline.  The APPR plan King announced today will remain in force through the 2016-2017 school year – and under state law, remains in place in perpetuity – unless and until a successor APPR agreement is reached through collective bargaining and is approved by the Commissioner.  King said the plan announced today following submissions and testimony from affected parties, will identify excellence, facilitate high-quality professional development for principals and teachers, and provide each principal with the autonomy to build a strong staff while protecting teachers against arbitrary and capricious actions.  “It’s time,” King said.  “The students have waited too long.  The plan I’m announcing today creates a multiple-measures evaluation system that’s fair for teachers and principals.  More important, it will help improve teaching and learning and give New York City students a much better opportunity to graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and careers. There are strong measures to help remove ineffective teachers and principals, but let’s be clear: New York is not going to fire its way to academic success.  The key to this plan is the training, support and professional development that must be put in place to help teachers and principals improve their practice.” King congratulated Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Council of School Supervisors and Administrators President Ernest Logan for their successful efforts to reach an agreement on a New York City principal evaluation plan, which is reflected in the plan imposed by the Commissioner.  Pressed and encouraged by the Commissioner throughout the arbitration hearing, both sides made meaningful compromises to reach a negotiated resolution.  King said the agreement will help principals improve their practice and ensure every school in the city is led by an effective leader. King said, “Over the past 15 months, the real purpose of this evaluation reform has been lost in the drama surrounding the negotiations.  At the end of the day, this is all about helping teachers teach better so students can learn better.  This plan does that.  “The plan gives principals the tools they need to improve instruction in their schools.  It will help struggling teachers and principals get better and help good teachers and principals become great.  The plan builds on the strengths of the evaluation plan previously in place for principals in New York City.  And, for the first time, the City has an evaluation plan that recognizes excellent teachers who can serve as models and mentors for their colleagues.  The challenge is to bring the best teaching practices to every classroom in New York City.   Today, we’ve moved a little closer to that goal.” In 2009, the New York State Board of Regents launched an ambitious reform agenda focused on the straightforward goal of ensuring all New York State students are prepared for college and career success.  The four pillars of that agenda are:

  • Implementing the Common Core standards
  • Building instructional data systems that support student success
  • Recruiting, developing, retaining, and rewarding effective teachers and principals
  • Turning around the lowest-achieving schools

In support of that agenda, in 2010 the Legislature adopted and the Governor signed into law Education Law Section 3012-c, a new law governing teacher and principal evaluations.  In recognition of New York’s leadership in education reform under Board of Regents Chancellor Tisch, the U.S. Department of Education awarded New York a nearly $700 million Race To The Top grant.  Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the teacher and principal evaluation law was amended in 2012 to ensure greater rigor and effective implementation, including a requirement for the Commissioner to approve all evaluation plans (see Attachment A for details). The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) and its bargaining units failed to meet the statutory January 17, 2013 deadline to fully implement standards and procedures for conducting evaluations and as a result did not qualify for an increase in state aid for the 2012-2013 school year.  The state budget adopted earlier this year required any district that did not have an APPR plan in place on or before May 29, 2013, would have an evaluation plan imposed on it by the Commissioner after a  two-day arbitration proceeding.  Based on extensive evidence and the Commissioner’s judgment as to the best interest of the students in New York City, on June 1, 2013 the Commissioner imposed standards and procedures necessary to fully implement an APPR plan within the district.

Highlights of Commissioner King’s Plan for NYC Teachers:
State Growth


Note: Could increase to 25% if the Board of Regents approves a change to a value added model.

State-provided growth scores in grades 4-8Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)
  • For teachers in core subjects with state assessments, state assessments must be used
  • For teachers in core subjects without state assessments, NYC performance assessments reflective of the Common Core Standards must be used
  • For all other teachers, menu determined by NYSED
  • Student performance targets for SLOs approved by principals with input from teachers
Locally Selected Measures


Note: Could decrease to 15% if the Board of Regents approves a change to a value added model.

NYSED Menu of Options
  • School-based measures of student learning committee (4 members selected by principal, 4 members selected by UFT) to allow for both teacher and administrator input
  • Committee recommends measures to principal from menu determined by NYSED
  • Principal may reject recommendation and apply default school-wide measure
Other Measures: Observation Process60% for K-2 (and 3-12 Teachers in 2013-14)55% for 3-12 Teachers in 2014-15 and beyondDanielson (2013): 22 components must be observed annually via observations and teacher artifactsTeachers will have a choice between two options and indicate which option they have chosen at their initial planning conference in the beginning of the school year:
  • Option 1: (a) min. of 1 formal; (b) min. of 3 informal (at least 1 unannounced)
  • Option 2: min. of 6 informal (at least 1 unannounced)

Teacher may authorize observation by video

Other Measures: Surveys5% for 3-12 Teachers in 2014-15 and beyondTripod Student Surveys in Grades 3-12: City-wide pilot in 2013-14, full implementation in 2014-15 and beyond
AppealsGoverned by Education Law Section 3012-c(5-a)Chancellor’s Appeals:
  • Ineffective only
  • 4 hour maximum per session
  • Year-round (including summer months)

Panel Appeals (harassment or reasons not related to job performance): Limited to 13% of teachers rated ineffective (as determined by UFT)

Streamlined Process to Resolve APPR Compliance Issues15 expedited compliance issue resolution hearing days
  • Exclusive mechanism for resolving APPR procedural compliance issues
  • Shall not be used by an individual teacher to challenge that teacher’s annual professional performance review
Highlights of Commissioner King’s Plan for NYC Principals Imposed With Agreement of NYCDOE and the CSA:
State Growth


Note: Could increase to 25% if the Board of Regents approves a change to a value added model.

State-provided growth scores in schools with grades 4-8State-provided growth scores in high schoolsFor small number of principals without state-provided growth scores: Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)
  • State assessments (where applicable)
  • All others: NYCDOE and CSA collaborative decision-making process with 8/1 deadline; if no decision by 8/1,  NYC performance assessments reflective of the Common Core Standards
Locally Selected Measures


Note: Could decrease to 15% if the Board of Regents approves a change to a value added model.

Selected metrics from the NYC Progress Reports
Rubric for “Other Measures”


  • NYC Quality Review Rubric (2012-13)
  • Two supervisory visits by superintendent or designee (at least 1 unannounced)
  • Ineffective only
  • Hearing officer selected from a panel of experienced educators jointly appointed by NYCDOE and the CSA
  • Hearing officer makes recommendation to Chancellor who makes final decision

The Commissioner’s decision and the posted Review Room plans are scheduled to be available by 8:00 PM this evening.

Requirements of Education Law Section 3012-c (as amended in 2012)

Annual evaluations with regular feedback

  • Required for all teachers and principals

Clear rigorous expectations

  • NY State Teaching Standards
  • Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for principals

Multiple measures

  • 40% Student Performance (growth on state tests and/or other locally-selected measures)
  • 60% Other (observations, school visits, surveys, etc.):

–       A majority (at least 31 percent) of the 60 percent must be based on classroom observations by a principal or trained administrator.

–       There must be multiple observations and at least one observation must be unannounced.

Multiple Rating Levels

  • Highly Effective, Effective, Developing, Ineffective
  • Teachers rated ineffective on student performance based on objective assessments must be rated ineffective overall. Teachers who are developing or ineffective will get assistance and support to improve performance. Teachers who remain ineffective can be removed from classrooms.

Regular Feedback

  • Frequent, ongoing and linked to development opportunities


  • Factors into employment decisions, supplemental compensation


  • Appeals must be timely and expeditious and districts may terminate probationary teachers/principals or grant or deny tenure while an appeal is pending.


  • All evaluation plans are subject to review and approval by the Commissioner to ensure rigor, quality and consistency with standards.
  • The Commissioner has the authority to require corrective action, including the use of independent evaluators, when districts evaluate their teachers positively regardless of students’ academic progress.