Friday, 22 March 2013 00:00School districts outside the state’s five largest cities expect to spend an average of $155,355 to implement the state’s new teacher and principal evaluation system this year, based on an analysis of 80 districts that submitted cost data to NYSSBA. Those one-year costs are nearly $55,000 more than the average four-year federal grant awarded to New York school districts to implement the program.
“School boards have long supported the goals of the new teacher and principal evaluation system as a way to improve student achievement,” said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. “Our analysis, however, shows that the cost of this state initiative falls heavily on school districts. This seriously jeopardizes school districts’ ability to meet other state and federal requirements and properly serve students.”
In 2010, the federal government awarded New York State $697 million in Race to the Top grant funds. About half of the funding will go to local school districts over four years to implement the state’s new Annual Professional Performance Review system (APPR), as well as other initiatives. Yet the average Race to the Top grant of $100,670 (excluding the “Big Five” city school districts) falls $54,685 short of school districts’ average implementation costs, according to NYSSBA’s analysis.
NYSSBA found that school districts incurred APPR implementation costs in several broad categories: Salaries (compensation for employees, substitutes, trainers or consultants associated with additional costs incurred), Training (fees related to professional development, certification and related items), Assessments (costs associated with developing State Learning Objectives (SLOs) or other measurements, purchasing third-party state-approved assessments as well as related costs) Software and Technology (purchase, installation, and implementation of technology) and miscellaneous expenses, such as printing.
Implementation costs for APPR in the 80 school districts analyzed by NYSSBA ranged from a low of $15,500 to a high of $626,583. “When we talk about unfunded— or, in this case, underfunded— mandates, this is exactly what we mean,” said Kremer.
In conjunction with the cost analysis, NYSSBA is releasing a research brief that takes an in-depth look at five of the State Education Department’s 10 model teacher evaluation plans. The brief examines how these model plans address the key components of the APPR law: state assessments to measure student growth, locally selected measures of student achievement, “other measures” of teacher effectiveness, and the appeals process.
Submitted by NYSSBA Executive Director, Timothy G. Kremer
Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00
There was a time when people knew what they were eating. Frozen meals, fast food chains and ingredients impossible to pronounce were non-existent. Instead, simple ingredients and meals were all made from scratch.
Joann P. Magri, owner of The Divine Olive, is keeping this way of eating alive. Offering hungry customers with a choice in quality foods and ingredients, Magri encourages customers to make their own meals. With shelves stocked full of 18-year-old vinegars straight from Modena, Italy, to extra virgin olive oils infused with various herbs and flavors, the Divine Olive features a variety of organic and vegan products, all 100 percent natural. It even has handmade spaghetti and fresh bread, which perfectly pairs with all of their other products.
Friday, 29 August 2014 00:00
It’s a cute little ‘bug.’ What it represents, however, is anything but cute.
An unusual-looking Volkswagen is toodling around Long Island this month. Painted to resemble the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), the VW Beetle is part of efforts by the US Department of Agriculture to eliminate the pest, which can destroy 70 percent of an area’s tree canopy, according to the agency. Initially, officials held hope for complete eradication from about 23 square miles of LI designated as infested or at risk by 2016. Instead, this “landcape-altering pest” is spreading.
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
It will be difficult to top the exhilaration of being crowned Nassau County Champs, but the 2014 Farmingdale Dalers will begin their defense of the title on Sept. 13 at rival Massapequa—whom they beat to claim the crown.
“The attitude is that we have to prove it again,” said Head Coach Buddy Krumenacker, who has been at the helm since 1993. “But I think we’ll be okay,” he added.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.
“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia. “Flying through the air never gets boring. At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.”